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Bearskin: A Novel Audiobook, by James A. McLaughlin Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James A. McLaughlin Narrator: MacLeod Andrews Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2018 ISBN: 9780062847799
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A gritty and captivating debut about a caretaker of an Appalachian nature preserve who gets embroiled in a dangerous bear-poaching scheme—for fans of Smith Henderson, Ron Rash, and Daniel Woodrell

Rice Moore is just beginning to think his troubles are behind him. He’s found a job protecting a remote forest preserve in Virginian Appalachia where his main responsibilities include tracking wildlife and refurbishing cabins. It’s hard work, and totally solitary—perfect to hide away from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, the quiet solitude he’s so desperately sought is suddenly at risk.

More bears are killed on the preserve and Rice’s obsession with catching the poachers escalates, leading to hostile altercations with the locals and attention from both the law and Rice’s employers. Partnering with his predecessor, a scientist who hopes to continue her research on the preserve, Rice puts into motion a plan that could expose the poachers but risks revealing his own whereabouts to the dangerous people he was running from in the first place.

James McLaughlin expertly brings the beauty and danger of Appalachia to life. The result is an elemental, slow burn of a novel—one that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Bearskin is visceral, raw, and compelling—filled with sights, smells, and sounds truly observed. It’s a powerful debut and an absolute showcase of exceptional prose. There are very few first novels where I feel compelled to circle brilliant passages, but James McLaughlin’s writing had me doing just that.”

    C. J. Box, New York Times bestselling author

  • “One of the year’s most buzzy, fascinating thrillers…A suspenseful, emotionally resonant journey into one man’s dark past.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “As taut as a crossbow and as sharp as an arrowhead…This is a thrilling, thoroughly satisfying debut.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This versatile debut is hard to pin down, successfully straddling the line between the evocative erudition of Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling, Tom Franklin’s Poachers, and page-turning suspense of C.J. Box.”

    Library Journal

  • “A journey into the wilds of Appalachia…Tightly plotted and beautifully written, Bearskin marks an auspicious debut.”

    Nylon

  • “Native Virginian McLaughlin has set his debut novel in the state’s rugged Appalachian forestland, which is as haunting and precarious as the story itself…C. J. Box and Paul Doiron fans will enjoy this edgy tale, with human greed and wildlife exploitation at its heart.”

    Booklist

  • “An intense, visceral debut equal to the best that country noir has to offer.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

James A. McLaughlin holds law and MFA degrees from the University of Virginia. His fiction and essays have appeared in the Missouri Review, the Portland Review, River Teeth, and elsewhere. He grew up in rural Virginia and lives in the Wasatch Range east of Salt Lake City.

About the Narrator

MacLeod Andrews is an actor, voice actor, and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator who earned the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. He has starred in a number of independent short and feature films and is a member of the Rising Phoenix Repertory Company in New York City.