Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Lumberjack – ‘The Lumberjack’ could be a modern equal of any Alistair Maclean thriller. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Reviews on Amazon


5.0 out of 5 starsEco-terrorism- A United States 'Tarzan' As a Terminator of Mankind. By Mr. Richard Lw Bunning
‘the lumberjack’ could be a modern equal of any Alistair Maclean thriller.
June 14, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase 
Willén, in his first departure from sf space adventure/opera, has written a present-day thriller set in a generic northern forest reserve territory of the USA. Once begun the book is hard to put down, as one is driven on by the pace and tension in the story. The character elements of the evil antagonist bound along the edge of implausibility, on a tightrope between impossible and just about conceavible human physicality. In contrast, the rest of the cast of good, bad and pretty are within a more normal range of observable humanity. The plot is just about conceivable, except for the behaviour of a pack of wolves. We note that the author is Scandinavian, so of a population that has been responsible, more than any other, for demonising the wolf. The author also seems keen to exaggerate the danger from the cougar, or mountain lion as many Americans choose to call the creature. Both the cougar and wolf can on rare occasions be a genuine threat to even uninjured, but isolated, humans, especially if an animal feels cornered. But neither is exactly the danger to man in the way that brown bears are. The wild life, non-human and human is extraordinarily dangerous in this neck of the woods. The book is certainly both great entertainment and the provider of a good adrenaline rush. Anyway, for the cause, thriller writers have never been frightened to claim that some maligned animal or other is almost as dangerous a predator of humans as is another human.

The idea of the eco-warrior, that so loves nature that he would rather see the devastation of mankind than nature is certainly not new. As our greedy species slowly destroys the planet on which we live, there will be many more examples not just in fiction but in our real lives. I have a great deal of sympathy for the ‘evil killer’ in this story, and that probably caused me to be less bothered about some of the often self-absorbed and shallow victims than I should. I would far rather live with a few billion less people and a more natural balance of wildlife. From the Earth’s point of view, we are very far short of describable as a gift from God. Perhaps in the next instalment, if Willén writes one, the lycanthrope will have a substantial degree of ‘normal’ human support. The flip-side of my reluctance to condemn the killer will surely mean that the more humanist reader, with greater empathy for the main characters, will probably enjoy the chase even more than I did.

This book would benefit from a good edit, as a few sloppy sentences and typos take away some of the shine of quality. Despite that, I feel no hesitation in giving five stars as an entertainment. Willén generates constant interest and, in crucial scenes, real tension. There are a couple of plot weaknesses, stretch marks rather than holes, as events in different locations run in rough parallel, but not ones that detract seriously from the page turning rush. This is a great holiday read, that can be put down between bus journeys or swims, as enjoyment doesn’t require a very deep concentrate on plot detail. This is anything but an over-complicated whodunit type of thriller. But for a stronger attention to the detail of sentence structure and perhaps the inclusion of a few deeper nuances of plot, ‘the lumberjack’ could be a modern equal of any Alistair Maclean thriller. I am sure I will read other books by this author to add to this, and to the first of the Nastragall space operas that I read and reviewed a couple of year ago.
April 29, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
I was excited to begin this book because I love suspense stories. There was an eerie feel throughout the book because the killer was discreetly lurking in the background for quite some time. There were remnants of his vicious attacks and it drew me in because I had to find out who he was. I felt it had an interesting premise as well in regards to Christina and her background and why she ended up in Skull Creek. I love Christina's go-get-it attitude and the way she navigates her way through the ups and downs. I also liked that Christina was the aggressor involving Robert. Frank and Claire are my favorite characters, though. They're just so sweet. I won't spoil it and tell you who the killer was, but just know you'll be surprised, and I'm sure you'll love this book as much as I did. 
May 1, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Lumberjack Review

For a writer who specializes in space opera, Martin Willén has a deft touch with psychological horror. This shouldn't surprise those of us who've read his Nastragull series, since he often explores the dark, even depraved aspects of sentient life; it's just that going from hard SF to horror seems a bit of a jump. At first. But they are related fields, and he proves that he can write just as well in a literally down-to-Earth setting like this one.

There's a beast haunting Skull Creek, a small mountain town isolated at the edge of one of the few remaining old growth forests in North America, killing locals and tourists who casually and uncaringly damage the environment. At first it's unclear whether the beast is human, or perhaps a mythical beast like a Wendigo... indeed, there are indications it may be both, for while the beast is soon revealed to be human, it and its people may have inspired the Wendigo myth, and perhaps the various shapeshifter/skinwalker myths of the Native Americans. The local Indians are certainly aware that its territory is something to fear.

Without giving away the secret (since the title does that!), the antagonist is in fact a lumberjack... with a few crucial differences, including a centuries-old secret stretching back to before the European colonization of the New World. The Lumberjack, who calls himself Nero, is an eco-warrior, like his ancestors; while he believes in managed exploitation of the forests, he strikes down those who destroy it and other parts of the environment only for gain, leaving ruin behind. But his dedication is shaken when he meets Christina, the book's protagonist.

Christina Dawn is an aging Hollywood actress, a rare female action hero who no longer gets the juicy parts she wants. Although she's still beautiful, she's no longer in her twenties and is burnt out from repeatedly losing parts to less-talented "flavors of the month." Sick of Hollywood and on the rebound from a failed long-term relationship, she takes a sabbatical in Skull Creek. She finds the perfect property for her break, isolated on a mountaintop located miles from town: an incredible log lodge with all the modern conveniences. It's set on hundreds of acres and has a beautiful view of the local river.

After an unexpected run-in with a mother bear and more inimical two-legged wildlife, she's saved by Nero—who is smitten. He immediately punishes the locals who attempted to rape her rather than save her from the river, in a rather permanent and well-deserved manner. Later, as he works toward his vision of "correcting" the damage now being caused by gold prospectors who leave destruction in their wake, he quietly begins stalking Christina. He's never seen a woman like her before.

As Christina settles into local life, making friends and coming to love her new home enough that she buys it outright, Nero keeps a watch on her and continues his primary mission: to eliminate the final witness of a massacre perpetrated by his people 50 years ago. As the local police and FBI become aware of a serial killer in their territory, events slide into place for a final confrontation between good and evil that threaten to destroy Scull Creek—taking Christina and her friends with it.

Well, no need for spoilers! Check out The Lumberjack for spine-tinglers of the type you've come to expect from Willén. Just don't read the story in the dark. It'll get to you.


"...a great read. Not at all what I expected. The author's description and the characters and locations were great." —LibraryThing Early Reviewer 

“I would definitely like to see more from this author” —LibraryThing Early Reviewer THE LUMBERJACK by Erik Martin Willen 

“Fans of Kiss the Girls or John Sanford's Prey series will enjoy The Lumberjack.” —BHC

Looking for peace, she found a nightmare… 

Fading movie star Christina Dawn has decided to start a new life, so she relocates from L.A. to a picturesque mountain town, hoping she'll find peace and tranquility there. 

Meanwhile, a man who has hunted a witness to a massacre for over fifty years has also settled in the town, Skull Creek, in an effort to keep a dangerous legacy hidden from the world. 

Little do Christina and Nero know that their paths will soon cross, leading to a horrifying revelation: a practice that has recurred for centuries, causing the murders of countless people, none of which have ever been linked or solved. 

The largest manhunt in history is about to take place. But what law enforcement will soon discover is that they aren't the ones doing the hunting. They're the ones being hunted.

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