“Nine Bear Lodge” by Keith A. Hamilton

Nine Bear Lodge

Keith A Hamilton
Tellwell Talent (2022)
ISBN: 978-0228883944
Reviewed by Stephanie Elizabeth Long for Reader Views (01/2023)

Two men who fled the Fall of the Berlin Wall come face-to-face with their horrific past when, out of pure coincidence, they end up vacationing at the same lodge. One was a smuggler who was ruthlessly beaten and tortured by the other, who was an officer. Set in the lush forests of the Bella Coola Valley in beautiful British Columbia, the men struggle to immerse themselves in the idyllic setting due to the past rearing its ugly head. What will happen when the ex-smuggler approaches his biggest adversary? Read and find out!

“Nine Bear Lodge” by Keith A Hamilton is a thought-provoking short story about coming to terms with your past—the good, the bad, and the ugly, even if that means unearthing those painful memories you fought so hard to conceal. The author has brilliantly woven a tale of two men with deeply blemished pasts and their quest to start anew.

I loved how the beginning of the thrilling story was spent developing the main characters—Wolfgang and Hans—separately and then amalgamating the perspectives in the second half. I felt enraged for Wolfgang, having to endure the ruthless torture, and fantasized about how Hans would get his comeuppance. Still, with that being said, experiencing Hans’ transformation somehow softened my feelings toward him. I didn’t think this was possible, but it was a clever tactic used by the author and proof of excellent character development.

Moreover, the story had much to offer in terms of learning about the Nuxalk people of Bella Coola. It was a real treat to glean information about their traditions and foods; thanks to the author, I gained a better understanding of their way of life. Beyond that, the author skillfully described the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, making me feel like I was right there at one of the bear viewing stations. The earthy scent, lush trees, and the presence of the majestic mountains sparked my imagination. I quickly found myself looking online and marveling at the beauty and tranquility of the area.

Not only did “Nine Bear Lodge” capture my attention with multidimensional characters, but the vivid depictions of the Bella Coola Valley ignited my senses. If you love thrilling stories about overcoming strife and self-discovery buttressed by idyllic backdrops, grab a copy of this book.

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