Griz Nightmare by R. Leland Waldrip



Griz Nightmare Griz NightmareR. Leland Waldrip; Rappahannock Books 2000WorldCat

Review by Molly

The book opens with Jim Wilson, who suffers from post traumatic stress because of a grizzly attack five years earlier, dreaming of another bear attack upon himself. Experienced horseman and guide, Jim sets out on a Montana elk hunting trip with friends Joe Darton, Bark Harrison and Parson McNelty. Jim hopes to overcome his worry about another bear attacking him. About the time the men set out on their trip with four riding horses and 2 pack animals three desperate convicts break out of prison. Labaine, Morgan and Bellerman are as amoral as they come. After kidnapping a mother and daughter the trio set out to get themselves to Canada and supposed safety. As time progresses the paths of the hunting group cross with those of the criminals and their captives.

An unanticipated, barbarous attack carried out by the convicts leaves Jim Wilson believing he alone has survived the vicious, uncalled for shooting of Darton, Harrison and McNelty. The criminals show no regard for the plight, danger or hardship they demand of their victims as they force the two women to walk just ahead of Jim, Griz, and Wilson. The determined group again sets out on horseback for their northbound trek. Misadventure, snow, lack of knowledge of the outdoors and even a bear attack or two meets the group at nearly every turn. How, or if, Jim will be able to rescue the two women and get himself safely away from these miscreants who appear determined that nothing or no one will stop them from getting out of the country becomes Wilson’s predominant notion.

Writer Waldrip’s unquestionable storytelling genius is showcased in the paragraphs of Griz Nightmare. Waldrip adds to his growing list of thrillers with the addition of this exciting tale filled with a fine cast of nicely developed characters, hard hitting dialogue and Waldrip’s facility for painting word pictures delineating scenes and scenery. Griz Nightmare is a well crafted tale in which a complex plot twists and turns carrying the reader right to the heart of the hunt with a detailed suspense filled plot. The reader feels anger, revulsion and a sense of revenge for the criminals as we witness their abuse of the kidnap victims, and their disregard for anything other than their own wants, needs and desires. The lack of compassion shown by the criminals is offset by the caring shown mother to daughter to mother, along with Jim Wilson’s grim determination that he will avenge his friends deaths and somehow get himself and the two women to freedom.

I liked the addition of both the hand drawn map and actual photos of a hunting camp. They add much to the work. Good book for a lazy afternoon, I don’t recommend after dark, during a storm or when little things go bump in the night.

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