In an effort to get his post-retirement life together, the impressively alcoholic Sunderson buys a small fishing cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His neighbors, the Ames family—a lawless clan of criminals whose antics are believable only when viewed as the blackest of comedies—soon entangle Sunderson in their web of incest, violence and domestic abuse. He hires the young Lily Ames to continue in the capacity she had for his cabin’s previous owners as something of a caretaker; she is killed shortly thereafter in an AK-47 shoot-out with her cousin, Tom. Her sister Monica takes Lily’s place and immediately becomes Sunderson’s lover. We meet several other members of the Ames family, even as they begin to die one after the other from some kind of mysterious poisoning. Is Monica, the cook for the family, the killer? Could it be Lemuel Ames, the “runt” of the clan whom Sunderson befriends, a thoughtful, bird-loving man who spent most of his youth in prison for bank robbery? Or could it be another member of the psychotic bunch?
Jim Harrison is one of my favorite writers, hands-down. Read the rest of it HERE.