Thursday, September 16, 2021

Book Review: Deer Season

I am so behind in life right now, I'm just trying to keep up. I have so many things going on all at once and I don't know how I did this kind of stuff before Lucy and liked it. Honestly, that blows my mind, because I really hate being this busy now. I'd like to just nap and watch crime shows. That feels like the extent that my brain can function right now. 

Deer Season - Erin Flanagan

It’s the opening weekend of deer season in Gunthrum, Nebraska, in 1985, and Alma Costagan’s intellectually disabled farmhand, Hal Bullard, has gone hunting with some of the locals, leaving her in a huff. That same weekend, a teenage girl goes missing, and Hal returns with a flimsy story about the blood in his truck and a dent near the headlight. When the situation escalates from that of a missing girl to something more sinister, Alma and her husband are forced to confront what Hal might be capable of, as rumors fly and townspeople see Hal’s violent past in a new light.

A drama about the complicated relationships connecting the residents of a small-town farming community, Deer Season explores troubling questions about how far people will go to safeguard the ones they love and what it means to be a family.
I live in an area where we're surrounded by the woods and forest, many people look to the fall as hunting season and plan their lives around it. Every year we hear about a couple of people being accidentally shot, sometimes people go missing and we find them after they've passed away from exposure, so right away this story grabbed me. Reading it felt like a cross between a Jennifer McMahon thriller and something else... I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was really good. It ended up being the perfect book to pick up now that kids are back in school, summer weather is really gone, and I'm curled up on the couch with a good blanket. 

In this we see the disappearance of Peggy, a girl like so many in towns like mine, who sneak out on weekends to go drinking and partaking in other activities in fields away from supervision. Until one evening, and Peggy just doesn't come home. After a few days, rumors are rampant in town, and suddenly what began as whispers become a quiet rumbling of accusations towards Hal, a grown adult with intellectual disabilites, who doesn't understand social cues or flirting, which becomes the sticking part in the accusations. 

While we do find out what happened to Peggy and that gets solved, that really isn't even the focus of the book. Once you get into it and we start meeting new characters, figuring out how they are connected with different people, we learn some pretty damning things about many. It's like Peggy's disappearance was what kicks up all of the dirt everyone in town was covered in. Old hurts are rediscovered, hurtful words are heard again, and we learn that those things are never really forgotten and people never really lose that hurt. It's all things that stick with you for life. 

I'd give this one a solid 4 star. It got a little slow for me in parts, but as soon as I realized this book isn't so much about the crime (which is what I was expecting), and more about this crazy web of secrets within this town, I perked right up because it felt like I was reading a whole new book and that's what kept me engaged. The writing is lovely, the setting and character building are great, I could easily picture any small town around me as being the location. 

If you're looking for a solid read to get you into the fall mood, definitely pick this one up. Thank you to TLC Book Tours and University of Nebraska Press for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review. 
This post contains affiliate links. 

No comments: