Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Isle Royal - John Hamilton

Isle Royale

By: John Hamilton

Genre:  Thriller

                This story is billed as a young adult fiction.  I think it is billed that way because 2 of the main characters are teens and have most of the action in the story.  There are several supporting characters and they are adults.  However, it kept my attention and I enjoyed it.  I was surprised to see it characterized on Amazon as young adult fiction.

                The book drew my attention because it is set on Isle Royal which is on the northern part of Lake Superior here in my home state of Michigan.  It started out slow and if I am honest rather dry.  There is a lot of description of the landscape and lakescape at the beginning of the book.  Once the characters were introduced things started moving along nicely.  The time period is the 1920s.  Some of the wording and slang was fun to read from that era.

                The story takes place on Isle Royal at the Wolf Point Lighthouse.  It is centered around the lighthouse keeper and his family.   The family is preparing to finally leave Isle Royal for the winter months.  However, the Lady, as Lake Superior is referred to in the story, has one more storm to throw at them.  As the lighthouse keeper prepares the lamp for the night a mysterious visitor appears at the lighthouse and gives him money in return for a favor.  The lighthouse keeper’s son sees the transaction between his father and the stranger not understanding what is happening.  He is rather indignant that his father would accept the cash.

                The stranger turns out to be a friend turned enemy from the lighthouse keepers past.  This man is a rum runner and is seeking to use the island as a meeting spot for his illegal activities.  He also has plans for the lighthouse keeper’s wife, who happens to be his long lost love.  Ian, the lighthouse keeper’s son and his friend Sally are caught in the middle.  Together, they must find a way to save the day.  They spend the better part of the book trying to thwart the bad guy.  They also encounter “ghosts” whom they believe inhabit the island.

                It was a quick read.  The author tied  up everything with a neat little bow at the end of the story.  It left me satisfied and happy with the conclusion.


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