Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Espionage Horror wasn't something that I thought I needed in my life until I read BEASTS OF THE CALIBER LODGE by L.J. Dougherty. There was a certain charm, a vibe, a feeling, that reading this book evoked in me that I can’t quite place my finger on. It felt classic, maybe a bit nostalgic, like it was written in a time long since gone by. A suave sophisticated spy thriller blended with lurid pulp horror. It harkened back to some of the movies that I loved watching growing up. Take a pinch of James Bond, add a splash of Indiana Jones, shake it all up (shaken not stirred, please and thank you), then garnish with a slice of Sasquatch and you have a potently fun concoction to enjoy.
Our main character Jimmy Knotts is a Nazi hunter in a post WWII world. Tracking down the war criminals in hiding and bringing them to justice. This alone grabbed my attention, making me interested in reading this book. I have always been fascinated with WWII and learning all that I can about that time period. Watching shows like HUNTING HITLER and certain episodes of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN have piqued my curiosity in what happened after the war was over. The aftermath of the Nazi party and what happened to them. The fleeing of high-ranking Nazi’s to South America where they disappeared into hiding. This is where BEASTS OF THE CALIBER LODGE kicks off, down in Argentina hot on the trail of a dangerous escaped Nazi. I won’t say much more about the plot other than the trail eventually leads us to the Caliber Lodge, a hunting retreat for the wealthy elite, deep in the wilds of the Alaskan frontier. A place where guests pay a premium for the opportunity to hunt one of the most rare and dangerous creatures on earth, and I am not talking about polar bears or caribou.
One thing I particularly enjoyed and that I was not expecting to get out of this book going in was the dynamic of good versus evil, of morality. Of what makes something good and what makes something evil. Normally in a book such as this the humans would be considered the good guys, the people you are rooting for, and the sasquatches would be considered evil, the villains. That’s not necessarily the case here though. I’ll just say that the guests of the Caliber Lodge were some real nasty, heinous individuals and I may have found myself rooting for the other team on occasion.
Certain sections of this book had a cinematic quality to them and that may be due to the fact it started life out as a screenplay. I could vividly picture the settings and action sequences unfolding in my mind as if I was watching this up on the big screen. To steal a bit from the blurb by author Cameron Roubique, if Spielberg ever directed a bigfoot movie this would be it.
BEASTS OF THE CALIBER LODGE by L.J. Dougherty is just downright fun. Pure pulpy escapism. Brimming with thrills, action, adventure, and bloody mayhem. What more could you ask for in a book? If you are looking for some fast-paced entertainment with a surprising bit of depth, then look no further.
I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration.
Title: Beasts of the Caliber Lodge
Author: L.J. Dougherty
Publisher: Independently published
Publication Date: January 11, 2021
Format Reviewed: Paperback