Select one of the keywords
The Eskimo Hunts in New York    by Stefan Kanfer order for
Eskimo Hunts in New York
by Stefan Kanfer
Order:  USA  Can
Stone Thread, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This is one of those novels you pick up only intending to read a few pages before dismissing it as another example of a book that couldn't make it with a mainstream publisher. Imagine my surprise when I found myself nearly a third of the way into the book before I set it down because it was way beyond my bedtime! The next morning I picked it up and read the next third of Eskimo ... because I was thoroughly hooked!

Jordan Gulok is a former Navy SEAL who freelances for the government because there are 'certain civil laws that even the military have to obey' but, conveniently, folks like Jordan can ignore. Raised in the area around Point Barrow in an Inuit community, Jordan has unique survival skills that his time with the SEALS only improved upon. This makes him a very special operative who is called in for very challenging assignments.

In this instance, Jordan's handler is killed at the outset of the assignment, which gives him an added incentive to see it through to the end. Set in New York City during a fierce winter storm, the Eskimo, as he is known, is up against not one but two international groups of miscreants who deal in fake pharmaceuticals, the NYCPD, and an apparent informer hidden within the Naval intelligence unit he is working with.

To say the deck is stacked against Jordan would be an understatement, but nothing is going to deter him from avenging the death of a friend and derailing a very lucrative counterfeiting operation producing bogus drugs.

As the story unfolds, the author provides flashbacks to his protagonist's childhood which explain how Jordan was taught the ways of his people and how to hunt and survive in a very unforgiving environment. Obviously those lessons are still relevant.

Given the skepticism with which I began reading, I kept telling myself that sooner or later Kanfer would blow the narrative and the plot would totally disintegrate. Honestly, that never happened. The action did intensify as the story developed, the complications became more and more interesting, and the whole plot remained credible right down to the last page.

That left me wondering why this novel wasn't snatched up by a big time publisher. It was as good or actually better than the similar works I had been reading the past twelve months. I'm sure Stefan Kanfer had his reasons for releasing this book in this manner. Fortunately, if you look online for it you can find it. And, believe me, this is a novel worth looking for! It is a well written, fast paced thriller with a unique protagonist and a surprise ending you won't see coming.

Obviously, Kanfer agrees, for a sequel, The Eskimo Hunts in Miami, is already in the works! Don't be left out in the cold. Read the Eskimo's New York adventure before he heads for a warmer climate.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews