Friday, April 3, 2015

Top Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer Grady Harp Gives Novel Jack PIne Five Stars

Chicago author William Hazelgrove has developed a significant following as the author of eight novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks Mica Highways Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, and Jack Pine. While his books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards Junior Library Guild Selections and optioned for the movie, his major appeal is in his humanitarian approach to stories. William stays close too the heart in each of his stories, making each tale he spins one with which everyone can relate on an immediate or a remembered level.

His latest novel JACK PINE he has expanded his experience form visiting the Boundary Waters and getting to know the people and the land and the issues that are important to that part of the country and also having had the opportunity to ride around with a Deputy Sherriff and spend time at an old logging camp. It shows in his writing - even the scent of the pines becomes present in the room while you read.

The author's synopsis serves the novel well: `When the sixteen year old daughter of a prominent attorney is raped in a woodshed and a logger found shot the next morning, Deputy Sheriff Reuger London becomes embroiled in a war between environmentalists, the Ojibwa Indians fighting for their timber rights, and the ruthless son of a powerful logger. Ben Johnson is the biggest logger in the Northwoods and his son Cliff will soon take over the business. Logging is dying a slow death from environmental restrictions and all that's left are the scrub firs and jackpine. But far up in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota are trees called the Old Pines. These three hundred year Norwegian pines are priceless and Johnson Timber wants them. A radical leader of Earth First, Tom Jorde, will do anything to stop the logging in the Boundary Waters. Then another logger is murdered and Jorde is implicated. The town pressures Reuger to stop the environmentalist and arrest an Indian, Tommy Toboken, for the rape of the girl. Tommy had saved his life once before and Reuger knows he is being setup. When he falls in love with the lawyer brought to town to defend Tom Jorde and realizes Johnson Timber is going to log out the Federally protected trees, Reuger is torn between old loyalties and what is right.'

Some how William manages to touch on sensitive issues in almost all of his novels - especially minorities (be those form South of the border or Native Americans) and contemporary concerns such as the environment. And while those issues make his novel appealing on sociology levels, the fact that he can write a story that propels along rather breathlessly to the end is what will continue his loyal following. JACK PINE is a thriller of the first class. Grady Harp, April 15

Jack Pine can hear you scream in the woods


Books by William Hazelgrove