Author Burt Weisbourd is generously donating 4% of the net royalties from IN VELVET to the Yellowstone Park Foundation. Available at Amazon or check your local bookseller. For all of you fortunate enough to be in the area, Burt will be at The Canyon Store August 4th & 5th. Stop by,say hey, & ask him to sign your book…:)
Burt Weissbourd’s interview with The Yellowstone Park Foundation.
The northwest corner of Yellowstone Park is closed for bear management, and Rachel, a bear biologist, is discovering some very startling animal behavior — grizzlies denning in June, swans at their wintering grounds in summer, and what appear to be Irish Elk, an extinct species, with huge palmated antlers. There are also horrific mutations in the young — elk calves with no front legs, earless bear cubs, and eaglets without wings.
What has gone wrong? Why is this area closed? Who’s covering up these animal abnormalities in the Park?
A non-stop thriller set in some of North America’s wildest country, In Velvet takes you deep into the hearts of a hard case local detective and a Chicago cop as they take on a corrupt sheriff, a pathological poacher, and a lethal black ops manager to solve this ghastly mystery and restore the natural order in Yellowstone National Park.
My thoughts…..4.5 stars
When Dr. Moody is discovered dead in a bear’s cache the Northwestern corner of Yellowstone is closed for bear management. Rachel Stanley is the bear biologist who discovered Dr. Moody and the bear in question is hers, Wooly Bugger. During her field trips Rachel is seeing out of season behavior, mutations, and what appear to be extinct Irish Elk. Rachel doesn’t buy the official line for why the Northwestern corner of Yellowstone is still closed and is determined to get to the truth.
IN VELVET has a large diverse cast of characters so a brief introduction to the main ones is necessary.
The Northwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park ~ Without Yellowstone and its unique ecological system there would be no story. Yellowstone is the main character. The park’s description is vibrant and detailed making it easy to experience its beauty and wonder vicariously.
Wooly Bugger ~ Rachel’s wily old grizzly. Wooly Bugger is as integral a character as the people.
Rachel Stanley aka the bear lady ~ divorced single mother of Molly & Rainey’s ex-lover. Rachel is socially awkward at the best of times. Strong and determined, she’s perfectly suited to her work and protective of the park and animals, especially Wooly Bugger.
Rainey ~ burned out teacher, fly fisherman, former P.I. & Rachel’s former lover. Rainey is thoughtful, methodical, and quietly intense. Sheriff Jesse has it out for Rainey for a variety of reasons. They’re currently in a stalemate but given Jesse’s ability to turn situations to his advantage that won’t last long.
Lloyd ~ owner of the local café & teller of tall tales.
Jen Donahue ~ Chicago cop on leave trying to retrieve her son, Jimmy, from her ex- husband, affectionately known as Cockeye. Jen and Rainey meet in one of the most offbeat ways I’ve ever read. Jen’s looking for help regaining her son and Rainey just might be the answer to her prayers.
Sheriff Jesse Stinson ~ What does he not have a finger in, legal or illegal. Crooked as a dog’s hind leg with a mean streak a mile wide Jesse is not a man to cross lightly. He owns the county and most of the people in it.
Gummer Mosk ~ Enforcement ranger for the North Yellowstone sub district & Jesse’s partner in various illegal activities. Gummer is fond of animals and young women. He has an eye on his future.
Bodine ~ Poacher and associate of Sheriff Jesse. As they say back home, he’s a mite tetched, not the amusing or entertaining tetched either. Bodine’s one of those people you give a wide berth, crossing the street to avoid them. Scary.
Mitchell Picker ~ Assistant superintendent of North Yellowstone and bit of a twit.
Dr.Moody ~ Researcher of thermophiles in the Sentry Hot Springs. Ray Moody is dead when we meet him.
Phillip Renard ~ Dr. Moody’s former French assistant. Phillip is carrying on with Dr. Moody’s research. Phillip is self-serving.
Danny Briley ~ Government Grant Administrative Officer and friend of Rachel’s. Danny’s a bit of a hippie.
IN VELVET is Mr. Weissbourd’s second book and it’s been my pleasure to read both. One of the main features, and personal favorite, of his work to date is the intelligence of his characters, men and women alike. Not only are they intelligent but each possesses a different type of intelligence. Combined with their fortitude, depth and diversity it adds up to a character treasure trove. They may be meanern’ the devil, annoying as all get out, awkward, or chill you to the bone, but they engage and never bore. Not once did I roll my eyes wondering WTFrill? Their behavior is always spot on and realistic. That’s the scary part. People that cruel and adept at hiding it actually exist; the stuff of nightmares for me.
You too can learn the wonders of thermophiles! Naturally, given the animal mutations and out of season behavior, there’s a lot of scientific discussion involved. Science is not my forte by any stretch but Mr. Weissbourd makes it understandable, plausible and interesting without talking down to the reader. That’s quite a feat.
IN VELVET hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until the last page. Each chapter has sections focusing on different characters and their actions moving the story and events at a rapid pace. Once started it’s best to strap on your seatbelt and make sure you have time to enjoy this astute high octane ride. IN VELVET left me breathless, a bit contemplative, and completely satisfied. Beneath the thrill ride IN VELVET was about the consequences of actions, decisions, and the manipulation and exploitation of Nature for all the wrong reasons. Nature has a way of getting her own back. Secondly it’s about forgiveness because without it there’s no moving on or growth. And last but not least, second chances, because most, though not all, people are worth a second chance.