Review: 'Northwoods' by Bill Schweigart

NorthNorthwoods by Bill Schweigart
Hydra (February 2016)
202 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

It’s been a year since the events in The Beast of Barcroft, and friends Ben McKelvie and Lindsay Clark are still trying to put their lives back together when they each get a call from the mysterious and very wealthy Richard Severance, asking them to drop everything and head to Minnesota.

Richard has a fascination with cryptozoology, a pseudoscience involving the search for animals whose existence has not been proven due to lack of evidence. This includes living examples of animals that are otherwise considered extinct, animals whose existence lacks physical evidence but which appear in folklore, such as Bigfoot and Chupacabra; and wild animals drastically outside their normal geographic ranges.

In The Beast of Barcroft the cryptid was a mythical creature out of Native American folklore; in Bill Schweigart’s new book, Northwoods, there are multiple threats and once again Ben and Lindsay end up in the middle of the commotion. By the way, it’s not necessary to read The Beast of Barcroft first, but it wouldn’t hurt.

I love how the author wasted little time in getting to the action and presenting the reader with a thrilling mystery to be unraveled over the course of the book. Schweigart’s characters are multi-faceted and delightfully flawed, just like the people we know in real life. This is good, because what they encounter is so fantastical, it’s nice to have some kind of grounding in reality.

Much of the story takes place on the shores of Lake Superior, or Lake Gitchigumi. I mention this for no other reason than to say Gitchigumi. I just love the way the word rolls off of my tongue.

Northwoods is not without its flaws, but I don’t care. It was a fun read with plenty of monsters and as the pages dwindled there was plenty of action, providing an adrenaline rush which was truly satisfying.

Northwoods is available now as an e-book from Hydra, an imprint of Random House.

Recommended for monster fans everywhere.

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