December 23, 2023

Forsaken Country


Forsaken Country by Allen Eskens
Detective Max Rupert #6
2022 Mulholland Books
Finished on December 17, 2023
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Max Rupert has left his position as a Minneapolis homicide detective to live in solitude. Mourning the tragic death of his wife, he’s also racked by guilt—he alone knows what happened to her killer. But then the former local sheriff, Lyle Voight, arrives with a desperate plea: Lyle’s daughter Sandy and his six-year-old grandson Pip have disappeared. Lyle’s certain Sandy’s ex-husband Reed is behind it, but the new sheriff is refusing to investigate.

When Max reluctantly looks into their disappearance, he too becomes convinced something has gone very wrong. But the closer Max and Lyle get to finding proof, the more slippery Reed becomes, until he makes a break for the beautiful but formidable Boundary Waters wilderness with vulnerable Pip in tow.

Racing after the most dangerous kind of criminal—a desperate father—and with the ghosts of their own pasts never far behind, Max and Lyle go on the hunt within a treacherous landscape, determined to bring an evil man to justice, and to bring a terrified child home alive.

I was returning a book at the library last week and came across a new release by Allen Eskens. Up until now, I'd only read his first book, The Life We Bury, which I enjoyed quite a lot on audio. Over the years, I kept seeing his new releases, but never got around to reading any others. So, last week I snagged Eskens' latest book (Saving Emma) and headed over to the stacks to see if there were any more of his that I could borrow. I jumped onto Fantastic Fiction to ensure that I wasn't going to accidentally read one from his series, preferring to try a stand-alone. I got that wrong! (Or, should I say, Fantastic Fiction got it wrong. Sigh.Forsaken Country is the sixth in the Max Rupert series. Oh, well. I know I read a major spoiler, but the book was so good, it was worth it. Honestly, I zipped through this thrilling crime novel in record speed, compulsively reading when I should have been sleeping.

Allen Eskens' stories and style remind me of Dennis Lehane's early books, but also of Peter Heller's, particularly with regard to his settings and characters. You can be sure I won't wait another half dozen years before I read more by Eskens. As a matter of fact, as soon as I finished Forsaken Country, I immediately started Saving Emma

Highly recommend!


  1. This one is going on the TBR list, thank you very much! It sounds like such a good one. And, I won't care that it's number 6 in the series.

  2. Merry Christmas! Hope you've been enjoying the holiday. Oh I have read The Life We Bury and did like it a lot. I am pretty sure I read that with my mystery book group but unfortunately just haven't got around to this author again. Thank you for reminding me! But wait, Fantastic Fiction was wrong? I always check them out for the next in a series so may have to double check against the author's website too next time I'm picking up another series read.

    1. Merry Christmas (or happy Boxing Day!), Iliana! It's been a nice, relaxing holiday. Yeah, FF got it wrong. Probably the first time I've ever noticed a discrepancy between FF and the author's (or Goodreads) list. Oh, well. Not the end of the world. :)

  3. Which series is better Max Rupert or Boady Sanden? hmm I need to look to see which ones I've read. But the Emma book looks really new. Glad you are liking these.

    1. Susan, honestly, both were very good, so I couldn't say which one is better. Yes, Saving Emma is new. I just happened to notice it on the New Release shelf at the library.


I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!