Review: Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

A barrage of the senses! The depiction of nature, flowers and plants, animals (both dead and alive) is so beautifully intense – you literally see and taste the beauty, while simultaneously feeling and sensing the danger of the wilderness. The incredible writing and descriptions in this book is enough to pick it up – and I’ve not yet touched on the compelling suspense, the mystery, the violence.

Rice Moore is on the run after some pretty sketchy dealings with the Mexican cartel in Arizona. He’s moved all the way across the country to live in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, at the Turk Mountain Preserve – as a caretaker. He seems to have to have evaded the cartel after him and is living a quiet, anonymous life there, when he stumbles upon a dead bear. Skinned. Paws cut off. Gall bladder removed (insert gagging noises here). Rice shouldn’t get involved. He’s already hated by the townspeople for not being a local, but also being part of an ‘elitist group’ of wealthy conservationists taking over their forests. He needs to not set off any alerts or red flags as to his whereabouts. But Rice is a man of nature – and he refuses to let the poachers get away with the massacre of these majestic creatures.

Along the path of his crusade, Rice meets some seriously alarming mountain inhabitants. They are crass, and rude, and largely thugs – and Rice finds himself in several life-threatening predicaments – doing whatever he can to avenge the bears, even if these rednecks try to kill him. There are a few “allies” he meets along the way, including a recluse mushroom picker and Sara – the last caretaker of Turk, and together an incredible story unfolds, full of suspense and violence at every corner.

I listened to the audiobook of this one – narrated by MacLeod Andrews. And LOVED the narration so much (*sexy voice alert*). The gruffness and depth of the audio had me mesmerized with the deep, and soulful rawness. Between McLaughlin’s compelling story and exquisite descriptions, and Andrews’ narration – I’m compelled to seek out more from both.

Thanks to Hoopla for the audiobook borrow.

Get it now on Amazon here —> Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin


  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1st Edition edition (June 12, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062742795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062742797

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 11.25.56 AM



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s