Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is known to many locals as God’s Country. It has this title due to the beauty that can be found across the UP. The forests, streams, waterfalls, lakes and endless beauty are something that can be difficult to be found and rivaled. There are year round activities for people from hiking, boating, camping and of course snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. I type those words as one who called the UP home for a good part of my life and was happy to call myself a Yooper during part of my life.
The book, Cabin Fever, by author James M. Jackson will take the reader to this beautiful landscape. The book will remind readers that amongst the beauty there can be dangers. Snow measured not so much in inches, but in feet. Temperatures can drop dramatically and get below zero during the winter months. Snowmelts can turn dirt roads more into mud pits as the snow melts away creating a near bog. These are things brought beautifully to the readers mind within the book.
Cabin Fever is book two in the Seamus McCree Mysteries and as I did not read the first book I went in not knowing much about Seamus. The reader is introduced to a man that loves the solitude his cabin in the woods brings him. He is able to sit back enjoy his large number of books, snow shoeing or just enjoying the beauty of the desolate lake. Winter has him snowed in but that is no matter to Seamus, as he is up to the challenge. It’s only when after a trip through a heavy snowfall that he will find a surprise that will change his solitude and not for the better. The surprise is an unconscious woman who is naked and in obvious need of help.
Seamus must make some hard choices if he is going to help this young woman live. He has no way to get to a nearby town, no phone or any real form of communication. His next supply drop is not due for several days so he must try all he can to get her help. He’ll try spelling SOS in the snow, blowing a horn three times and all he can. As you read what the man will do you will get an idea of his character and what he will do for what he thinks is right.
As the book progresses you find out what happened to the young woman and the mystery around her. The one thing that I want many to take away is also the sense of togetherness you get from those who call the UP home. Seamus will find himself being helped by many of the locals as the book unwinds. There help may cost some of their lives, but the important thing is that these communities who will help their own. It’s one of the things I really loved about growing up in the UP, the people and how they come together for those in trouble.
The book will take the reader into a darker side of Michigan, and that are the militias. These are groups that feel part of the Federal Government are misleading the country and needs to change. They are prepared for war if they must and some will put the lives of others secondary to get what they want, or need. In the case of Cabin Fever, their need is money to move closer and closer to the civil war they want. The leader is only known as The Boss and this person is someone no one will see coming, and is blood thirsty.
Author James M. Jackson uses the beauty of the Upper Michigan winter to set a great backdrop to Cabin Fever. The book will take you into characters that are well developed and will become likeable as you read the book. There will be a wide range of characters from a diner waitress to a local older man who goes out of his way to help Seamus. The fact is that the book delivers not just from the plot from the characters that you read. I still like to think of the UP as the silent character that is featured in the book. This is a great mystery with characters that you will want to see again and a plot that involves Michigan and nearby Wisconsin. The fact there is intrique, death and murder within the beauty of this setting adds so much more to the book. All are at risk with what may be coming and it is possible if The Boss wins, the militias could come into a lot of funding for their war. The book is published by Barking Rain Press.