Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bonegrinder by John Lutz

by John Lutz
1977 Putnam

Screw this book.  Even with the modern blurb it sells itself as a gory monster story.  It isn't.  It isn't horror.  It has elements of mystery and suspense, but not even really that.  It had a general vibe of rural-noir, but Blood Simple this ain't.  The author is better known for detective novels, where I would guess he would be more suited.

There are a series of killings attributed to an ill-defined lake creature that seems to be half sea monster, half bigfoot.  The local sheriff, a guilt-stricken widower who drinks too much, frets over monster chasers and tourists without really doing anything.  The mayor loves the publicity and a local eccentric has put out a reward.

We've got lengthy subplots about a photographer and his wife, a soon-to-be-divorced couple on their last vacation, and a journalist/folklorist who works for some kind of X-Files type federal department.

I'm just going to go ahead and spoil the heck out of this...

The sheriff finally decides to do something and manages to shoot Bonegrinder a couple hours into the attempt, but it gets away.  He goes scuba diving in a murky lake and finds a Freddy Kreuger claw, so he arrests the man whose wife was leaving for murder and framing the monster.

The murderer gets his charges dropped and nobody finds out what Bonegrinder was.  The sheriff guesses it was a bear that lived in the water because it had burn injuries.  Something a rural coroner should have been able to figure out.

Available in Kindle

Read a sample

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