Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Guide / Milt Mays

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller

Approximate word count: 105-110,000 words

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“Milt grew up in Colorado, though he spent most of his adult life as a Navy doctor, caring for those at the forefront of many conflicts, including Vietnam. He graduated from the Naval Academy and Creighton Medical School. His medical career included tours with the Marines, a Navy Security Group in Scotland, Pensacola Naval Hospital, and now at the Veteran's Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

He has been a fly fishing guide in Rocky Mountain National Park, and continues to ply these waters with a long stick and pieces of fur and feather.”

For more, visit the author’s website.


“Is your fly fishing guide willing to die for you?

Stony lives for fly fishing in the wilderness. It literally saved his life. After Stony massacred an entire village in Vietnam, addiction and PTSD almost killed him. Alaska, fly fishing, and a woman and her wolves brought him back from the brink. He made a vow to her on her deathbed to always help people, and to never kill another man.

Now he has a new lover, and is finally clean. So when he takes a seemingly ideal client deep into the wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park, he never dreams that his most sacred vow will be tested to the breaking point. He will have to save his client from a serial killer, a murderer so devious he has managed to become a respected doctor—and his client’s partner.

It’s taken Stony thirty years to disentangle himself from psychological hell. Now, hampered by all the dangers high altitude wilderness can throw at him, Stony must risk sinking into mental hell forever by killing an evil doctor—or risk losing not only his client, but his new soul mate.”


This thriller, which largely takes place in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, has a lot going for it, starting with the setting. The author does a good job of giving a feel for the mountains, their rugged beauty, and the business and culture of guides like the protagonist Stony who can be hired for their expertise and local knowledge. The main plot took a tried and true idea, a psychopath who rationalizes his evil deeds as “for the greater good,” appointing himself both judge and executioner in the process. But how this is done is a unique twist on the basic premise.

The past that continues to haunt Stony (especially, but not limited to, his time as a soldier in Vietnam) adds a lot to the story as he battles not only the obvious villain, but also his own internal demons. This one is a page turner.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

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