Big Thunder-Hearted River
Twenty-seven-year-old Eddy Arway, the head raft guide at the Thunder River Company, receives a strange omen. It is mysteriously fulfilled when he saves Rainy Jackson, one of his new-hires who heads toward the most dangerous rapid of the Thunder River Gorge. As romance builds between Eddy and Rainy, they each have strange experiences that remind them of a tragic Cherokee legend about two lovers, Redbird and Pathkiller. And the experiences only get more bizarre when Eddy’s mother, Vivian, and his so-called friend, Byron Casper, enter the story. Alan’s debut novel is a mind-boggling ghost story within a ghost story.
Inspired by his whitewater raft guide experiences, rising author Gary Alan combines his rafting expertise with history and Native American mythology to create a haunting plot. Written in third person point of view, Alan’s narrative opens with a bit of merriment before mystery settles in. Indeed, Eddy and his “right-hand man,” Mack, set the partying pace for the new guide trainees the day before they are tested on their rafting skills. The evening wouldn’t be complete without a ghost story, so Eddy relays a Cherokee legend based on The Trail of Tears.
Alan’s plot quickly begins to shift from frolic to fear with one unnerving event leading into the next. Amid terrifying whitewater adventures and strange ethereal experiences, chapters alternate between scenes that are filled with steamy romance and even a bit of comedy. Alan also introduces other key characters (Byron and Vivian), who initially don’t seem to fit into the story. But as more of the plot unfolds, Alan interweaves each of their convoluted subplots into an amazing tapestry. Alan’s approach to story writing is a unique mix of the present and the past with a twisted ending that is reminiscent of something straight out of the Twilight Zone.
Big Thunder Hearted River will, no doubt, attract the attention of water adventurers and North Carolinians, as well as those who just plain enjoy a good ghost story.
|GO4TH Press LLC
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller