Skipper’s Oath, the first installment in P. Wesley Lundburg’s popular Frank Mattituck series, delivers a taut, exceptional thriller that sets itself up perfectly for a sequel.
Somewhat misunderstood with a painful past, Frank Mattituck has a reputation for being a skilled outdoorsman with ethics of solid gold. That is why Todd Benson, a State Trooper, asks for Frank’s help when a rogue killer surfaces in their native home of Alaska. As the two men begin to close in on the killer’s trail, the case becomes increasingly more complex and dangerous with each new discovery, and they soon realize that not everything is as it seems.
While reading Skipper’s Oath, I found myself immediately impressed by the author’s detailed descriptions of the rugged and unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. Upon learning that the author was an Alaska Charter Boat Captain, it is no surprise that the outdoor scenes are written with such a gritty intensity that conveys both the beauty and the threats inherent in such a landscape. A particularly suspenseful period in the book revolves around a grizzly bear, and without spoiling anything, let me just say that the sense of fear is so potent you can almost taste it.
We are given clues as to the source of Frank’s pain that he skillfully hides from the world, and these glimpses into a solitary man act like a slow burn, effectively adding layers of mystery and depth to the narrative. Retreating from the world, Frank learns, can only be kept up for so long; soon you will be inevitably pulled back when you least expect it. There is work to be done, and he’s the only one who can do it.
An action-packed thriller with enough mystery and suspense to leave you wanting more, this one is highly recommended. – Tara