Detour In Oregon
by Donald Averill
Ink Start Media

"Dan said, ‘Someone’s shooting at us. We’re going down.’"

Dan Newcomb is shot in the leg while serving in Iraq. Returning to America, he decides to hitchhike across the states to the Northwest, where he intends to return to his home state of Alaska. Dan has a plan to get his pilot’s license and eventually become a bush pilot like his missing and presumed-dead father. On his way to Portland, Dan finds a part-time job house-sitting a cabin in the mountains for a few months. He can take flight lessons with a local pilot. This is a great chance for Dan to start saving money to eventually buy a small plane. However, he doesn’t expect to encounter an armed band of fugitives in the woods. Still, growing up in Alaska and being a combat veteran has Dan completely prepared for these men and the adventures to come.

Averill’s novel falls in with the lone wolf/Rambo-type story. His protagonist is well-versed as an outdoorsman and in combat. The supporting cast Averill surrounds his main character with offers Averill a good background to help round out the character’s personality and make him more likable and relatable. The writing is easy to follow, and the rare grammatical error doesn’t impact the reading at all. However, the protagonist seems to be surrounded by bad luck and unbelievable coincidences. These aspects weaken the narrative somewhat, making one long for a deeper dive into the reasons for the novel’s incidents to create a stronger reading experience. Overall, though, there is a definite appeal here for readers who enjoy strong, capable protagonists in adventure-filled, outdoor tales.

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