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The Moose Jaw (The Fergus O'Neill Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mike Delany
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Strange things happen in the Alaska bush. The native Alaskans say that a white man, too long alone out there will go mad. Gus O'Neill suspects it may have happened to him. His two best friends, Hard Case Calis the old Alaska State Trooper, and Haywood Jennings the flying veterinarian think so too. Gus spends a summer on Moose Jaw Creek where he builds a cabin, finds a ravaged red-haired beauty he comes to love, and murders the man who had sexually molested her. When Haywood flies in to join Gus for a moose hunt he finds his friend alone and raving. There is no evidence that Gus' redhead or the dead man he claims to have killed ever existed.
Gus is baffled by the disappearance of his woman and the body of his victim, but he agrees to join Haywood on a moose hunt. While getting in position to drive a large bull toward Haywood, Gus is attacked by a giant grizzly that has been stalking him. He manages to kill the bear but is badly mauled in the process. Haywood finds Gus and the dead bear, and flies his injured friend back to Fairbanks for treatment. The following day Haywood returns to Gus' cabin with Hard Case to deal with the dead bear. During the flight they discuss Gus' condition and his weird tale about the woman he had found and the man he'd killed. They agree Gus must have gone a little crazy while out there alone. Things become complicated when, back in the woods near Gus' cabin, they find no bear carcass. Haywood insists he had seen and touched its dead body just yesterday. The two friends return to Fairbanks as mystified as Gus. When Hard Case unearths an unsolved case file that dates back more than forty years, it becomes clear that Gus may not have imagined the woman or the murder after all. Strange things happen in the Alaska bush.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Delany grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York where he developed a lifelong love of the outdoors. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy, served with the 3rd Marines in Viet Nam, earned his B.A. Degree in English at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and married a hometown girl with whom he raised a family. He has hunted, fished, and floated Alaska's rivers many times over the past thirty years and his appreciation for the wild beauty of America's Last Frontier is evident in his stories. He lives in the Colorado Rockies with his wife, children, and grandsons.

Product Details

  • File Size: 498 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1484085191
  • Publisher: Michael R. Delany (January 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006SNSP14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure Novel January 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This review is coming from a woman who has only been to Alaska once, fished maybe two times, never hunted, and still LOVED this book. Mr. Delany's graphic descriptions placed me in the middle of this novel and kept my attention throughout the book. I sat down and read the entire novel with only a short break for dinner. I really enjoyed the adventure that I was taken on with his words and never expected the ending. What fun! I really look forward to his next novel and visiting my old friends, Gus, Haywood and Morgan again. Thanks, Mr. Delany, for a great ride through your talented writing!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compeling, and commendably solid... February 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In his debut novel, Mr. Delany displays a pacing and control of the plot and characters that one expects from a more expierenced writer. His characters come to life on the page and with wink and an eye for the wry aside, Delany fleshes out that special relationship between men who are more than friends, who support each other, no matter what. His description of the remote Alaskan landscape deftly paints the picture for the reader and the adventure this tale takes you on is infused with a well-balanced mix of adventure, confessional narrative, and gothic creepines. Looking forward to the next tale.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars swissgirl March 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story started really good. If you are into hunting and fishing you like the set up. But there are a few things that are a little to detailed and some very unthinkeble steamy parts, they will be explaint later on. So for the big part it is a really adventures mystery and a good story telling. I really loved the little turns and gessing and finishing. Well done!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I lived the story; a must read March 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I finally got a Kindle and was looking for my first book to download. I looked at many books and I came back to The Moose Jaw several times. The story sounded intriguing and I must say that the reviews were very impressive (new author or not). It seemed incredulous that a new book was available for borrowing from Amazon Prime. I was not disappointed.

I don't want to repeat the story line or what other reviewers have said. I will mention that the build up of the main characters was done well; You felt you knew Gus, Haywood, Hard case and could somewhat predict their behavior (so that it was believable). The wild card here is the girl and that is what had me hooked. The vivid description of the back woods, the animals, and Alaska was amazing. The details of every step along the way was believable.

I could not "put the Kindle down" as to lose the emotion of the story, not too much different than waking up from a dream (ok a little, but not that far off). What a great way to spend my day off!

I was so tuned to what was happening that I actually felt as if I was able to steer the plot along. Of course this was not the case, but Mike left just enough hints along the way so that every step of the way was believable, well at least in the way a fictional book can be believable. As I reflect on the story, the interesting thing is that, minus a couple of things (or not), the story could well be non-fiction. It's that good. The ironic thing about the story is that one of the most bizarre things that happens (the brothers) could easily be true.

At least one reviewer said not to read the product description. Although it might give some of the plot away it really helped in the credibility of the story as it went along.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a short story October 8, 2012
By Bob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an odd one for me to review and rate. For me it was more a 2.5 then a 3. There is really little substance or story here, and I feel this could have been better served up as a short story.

Instead you get what reads like a journal written by a man who spends time alone in the Alaska wilderness. In that regard it's well written, the authors use of imagery was very good. But this book is painfully slow and filled with minutia. Over and over you read how to cook bacon, clean your gun, bait a hook...too much of this and little story. I think this should have been kept to no more then 100 pages to be really effective, and the ending could still have been accomplished as it was written.

It held my attention for the first 1/3 but I kept waiting for something to happen, and nothing really does until the very end. You can do a lot of skimming with this book and not miss a thing.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moose Jaw - Great Book - Worthy of Series February 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The recommendations from my library tend toward Christopher Moore, Tim Robbins, and William Gibson, for some reference to my reading. However,I have a complete collection of Tony Hillerman - that I suggest Mike Delany can equal with the Gus, Haywood and Hard Case characters.

I must divulge I live near Morning Rock CO, and have had the acquaintance of the fictional and actual characters of Gus and Haywood - a guest to conversations inclusive of Alaska and drinking Irish whiskey! Even with anticipated familiarity of expected technical accuracy of Alaska, hunting, dressing a moose, goose, or elk, and living in the wild, I did not expect the page turning writing and the subtle development of earthy substance and inclusion of existential spiritual realities so close to native Indian lore.

I am hopeful The Moose Jaw is the beginning of a series soon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating mystery/ghost story
I very, very rarely give a book a five star review but this one deserves it. It's basically a well-told ghost story/yarn with real, fleshed out characters. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Tom from CT
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun adventure thriller in Alaska, with some spice
An interesting book about life in the wilderness of Alaska that combines vivid descriptions and insight into the country, but also keeps you up past bedtime with a thriller type of... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Bruce Bartleson
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best story
Published 9 days ago by GRAMAJACKIE
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not what I expected.
Published 12 days ago by Robert C. Waldo
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You like Augustus McCrae ?
No Spoiler Alert - rest easy ...If you enjoy "Alone in the Wilderness" the story of Dick Proenneke, and love the character Augustus McCrae in Lonsome Dove (and who in... Read more
Published 12 days ago by KIT
5.0 out of 5 stars moose jaw was an excellent book great read am reading second book now
moose jaw was an excellent book great read am reading second book now
Published 14 days ago by RICHARD JONES
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 1
A descriptive , detailed & exciting book with great characters who were believable & energetic. Looking forward to the next 2.
Published 18 days ago by JAMEY WEST
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
I read this book looking for a good Alaska story, as I am from Alaska and have been feeling a little homesick lately. Read more
Published 19 days ago by RKNEFF
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Enjoyed it. Recommend it. Want to read the next book in the series. It's 4am, why is there a word length requirement?
Published 1 month ago by Lori Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars For Alaska fans!
After spending the winter watching shows like Alaska State Troopers, Life Below Zero, and Alaska: The Last Frontier, this novel was the right book at the right time for me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Multi-tasker
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More About the Author

Michael Delany grew up in Horseheads, NY, and after graduation from Horseheads Highschool in 1963 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In 1966 he served with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged from the military he returned to the U.S. to marry his hometown sweetheart and complete his education. He studied Liberal Arts at Corning Community College, NY and Pasadena City College, CA before taking his degree in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After a full career in telecommunications (AT&T, Qwest, and Global Crossing), he retired to his home in Evergreen, CO. There, he spends his time writing fiction and enjoying the mountains and streams with his wife, children, and grandsons.

The Moose Jaw, his first novel grew out of his hunting, fishing, and river rafting experiences in Alaska. The setting for the book was inspired by Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Yukon River northwest of Fairbanks, which has its source in the White Mountains. One of the main characters, Haywood Jennings, the bush pilot veterinarian who is Gus O'Neill's best friend was created much in the image of Jim Hagee. Jim is Mike's longtime friend and hunting companion. Together they floated 117 miles of Beaver Creek three times, putting in at Nome Creek Landing, and pulling out at Victoria Creek. During these floats they harvested three large moose bulls, two caribou, and countless Arctic grayling. And, yes, they had the occasional dispute with bears regarding rights to a downed moose. Fortunately, they prevailed without recourse to violence. Diplomacy served them just as well...if jumping up and down, waving one's arms furiously, and shouting like mad men can be considered diplomatic. The moose whose skull graces the cover of The Moose Jaw was killed by Jim's son Justin on a float down Beaver Creek in 2003. In 2004 Mike joined Jim, who truly is a veterinarian as well as a bush pilot, as a volunteer at the Skwentna checkpoint on the Iditarod trail during that years "Last Great Race".

On February 1st, 2013, Mike published The Moose Jaw - Book II (The Darkness and the Light), a sequel to The Moose Jaw. Gus, Haywood Jennings, Hard Case Calis, and the lovely Morgan return to Moose Jaw Creek for another adventure. This time their adversaries include a mad genius who has developed an engine that is fueled by the Northern Lights, the FBI, several old Soviet bloc countries, and a host of normal and paranormal creatures that lurk along the banks of the Moose Jaw.

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