Friday, March 31, 2023

Panther Gap: A Novel by James A. McLaughlin

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

The thrilling follow-up to the Edgar Awardwinning Bearskin, about two siblings on the verge of inheriting millions but who discover dark secrets in their family’s past.

Siblings Bowman and Summer were raised by their father and two uncles on a remote Colorado ranch. They react differently to his radical teachings and the confusions of adolescence. As young adults, they become estranged but are brought back together in their thirties by the prospect of an illegal and potentially dangerous inheritance from their grandfather. They must ultimately reconcile with each other and their past in order to defeat ruthless criminal forces trying to extort the inheritance.

Set in the rugged American West and populated by drug cartels, shadowy domestic terrorists, and nefarious business interests, Panther Gap shows James McLaughlin’s talents on full display: gorgeous environmental writing, a white-knuckle thriller plot, and characters dealing with legacy, identity, and their own place in the world.

my thoughts:

Love, love, love! I absolutely LOVED James A. McLaughlin's latest novel, Panther Gap. It was beautifully written and captivated me right from the start. I read the book in one sitting, because I would not put it down for anything - waffles be damned! 

Firstly, the cover. Wow. The colors and images evoke a 'Western frontier' atmosphere which I feel reflects the story so well. It feels retro and I LOVE that. After all the story involves a ranch in Colorado - how much more remote and rugged can you get, right? Nature all around. A simple life filled with quiet. Except, nothing is ever simple. Life, the outside, all that noise will always find a way in. 

Second, the characters. Talk about a damaged family. Siblings, Bowman and Summer, are estranged, eccentric, and so freaking fascinating that you can't help but want to get to know them even more.  I loved how polar opposite they were, and yet how similar they could be in some instances. And, the psychic/mystical element which Bowman exhibited was magical to read about. Everyone else in the story was icing on the cake. 

Third, the setting. Colorado in all its glory. McLaughlin's vivid and rich descriptions of the ranch, the surrounding land was excellent. I found myself easily imaging the terrain, the animals, the air, the wild feel of it all. It was mesmerizing. 

Fourth, the story. Oh, what a story. Like I mentioned earlier, a damaged family that lived off the grid. Bowman and Summer are raised by their father and two uncles and pretty much left to their own devices - they soak in nature and learn how to survive.  Throw in a drug cartel, money in an offshore account, dark secrets, and an environment that seems to be vanishing right before their eyes and you've got yourself one helluva story. And, did I mention the lost tourist and smugglers? Yep, this story has it all and let me just say it makes for quite an action-packed read.  Oh, and there are flashbacks throughout, which help provide a clearer picture regarding Bowman and Summer's relationship, their childhood, and how they became the way they are as adults. Plus, the ranch and land, add a texture to the story that creates such a strong  connection with the characters, making it an integral element to the story. I feel like I'm sharing, but not really and that's only because you need to read this magnificent story for yourself. I mean it. Panther Gap is unputdownable and unforgettable - it is a must-read for anyone and everyone! This is the type of book that reminds you why you LOVE to read. 

I would happily recommend Panther Gap by James A McLaughlin. I LOVED it to bits and am so excited to share about it. Definitely make sure to get your hands on a copy ASAP - you are going to fall in deep with this book. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

1 comment:

Vintage Reading said...

Panther Gap ticks all my boxes - living off-grid, Colorado setting, thrilling plot - enjoyed your review and I will add to tbr list.