This is Bryan Gruley's first book which is surprising because the writing is so relaxed. It reads like a well told story and the characters are very typical of those found in a small town, without being cliched. Starvation lake is a small dying resort town located at the northern end of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. In better times, the town was known for its summer resort and its dedication to hockey. Coach Jack Blackburn came to Starvation Lake determined to win the state championship and had the whole town behind him. Gus Carpenter was the goalie who lost the game for the coach and the entire town and now that he is back, no one lets him forget it. Gus has returned with his tail between his legs, because he has also failed in his chosen profession-journalism when working for a Detroit newspaper. Now he is the editor for the local paper and he is trying to avoid
dealing with the mess he left behind in Detroit. Soon he is involved in a local mess-Jack Blackburn was thought to have been killed in an accident on the ice a decade ago, but his snowmobile washes up on the shore of an entirely different lake. Bullet holes are found which point to murder. Gus must pursue the truth, although it is apparent most of the town would rather ignore the entire business. Secrets are uncovered and friendships are tested and no one is left the same.