The Homestead

Fiction - Suspense
363 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Doug Hoover was raised in a small Maine town. On his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps infantry. Over the next four years, he served in 1st Battalion 9th Marines in a variety of locations including Africa, Jordan, and Helmand Province, Afghanistan. After receiving an honorable discharge in 2012, he attended the University of Massachusetts in Boston where he recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Anthropology. He currently resides on Cape Cod with his beautiful girlfriend and their two pit bulls, Bug and Skootcha Nunchuck Monsterface.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

The Homestead by Douglass Hoover tells the story of a group of people who have, for one reason or another, left life on the outside world to live in a Utopia they have created in the Alaskan wilderness. Their lives are undisturbed and each is happy in the homestead until Masterson appears. Masterson purportedly represents an oil company looking to develop the land on which they live, and when he has no success in persuading Stark, the owner of the land, to agree to sell, he resorts to devious means to obtain his objective. As the group fights for justice and a right to live as they desire, the power and influence of money and a man with questionable ethics and intentions threaten not only their way of life, but their very existence.

This is a thriller with a capital T. Intrigue, action, adventure and mystery all combine to make this an unforgettable novel in every respect. Superbly written with a breath-taking pace, the story sprints into action from the very beginning. The characters are well crafted and diverse, and the hints of Stark's hidden past and the intertwined lives of the rest of the group combine to provide not just an exciting read but a visual experience, so good is the writing. The author, Douglass Hoover, has created a Utopian world where even in the wilderness unseen forces and egos threaten its destruction. Injustice screams from each page and the reader unwittingly sides with Stark and his compatriots, whatever their dark and mysterious pasts might hide. An excellent and exciting read. This is an author to watch.

Lex Allen

The Homestead is a refuge for those weary of taxes, food designed to make you sick, rising costs, and the ever increasing loss of personal freedoms. Augustin Stark, an ex-Marine, comes into a lot of money and uses it to establish this getaway in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. Along with several of his Marine war buddies, he offers this retreat to a select group of people who wish to escape the modern world. Unfortunately, an oligarch’s greed for the land Stark has settled sets the stage for a showdown between “bought and paid for” federal employees and mercenaries against Stark’s Marines.

The adage “write what you know,” though sometimes considered outdated and not applicable to certain current book genres, e.g. some fantasy tales, remains key to ensuring verisimilitude within most stories and this one in particular. The Homestead by Doug Hoover reeks of verisimilitude. Hoover knows what he writes and he shows this knowledge in every facet of the story. His characters—the Marines, the civilians, the feds, the oligarch and the mercenaries are all one-hundred percent representative of real people in their respective lives.

The story itself comes right off the headlines of current events news and recent past events. Hoover pulls no punches—there is blood, language, and violence comparable to reality, and that is a big part of what makes this book so damned good. The Homestead also highlights several truisms concerning America’s veterans, praised as heroes until they come home and become lost in the mire and bureaucracy that is the Veterans' Administration, subsequently forgotten by politicians. If true to life language, events, and emotional acts and reactions upset you—don’t buy this book. If you appreciate verisimilitude in what you read or watch on film… this is a book for you. I loved it.

Sarah Stuart

Douglass Hoover opens The Homestead with sketches that paint a clear picture of the composition of the small Thoreauvian community founded in the Alaskan bush by ex-marine Augustin Spark. In the prologue, Mr Hoover ingeniously uses a long letter of invitation to a young couple, disenchanted with their lives, to set the scene when it is found by FBI agents. The main story opens with Jackson Burrs baiting a trap, and culminates in his death in the claws and jaws of an angry grizzly bear. Each major character is brought vividly to life, and the reason for their rejection of modernity is understandable, believable. But why are the FBI involved? Who owns the helicopter that flies over the settlement? Will The Homestead and its members survive twenty-first century invasions and the delving into its founder's past?

What I loved most about The Homestead is that Douglass Hoover makes the suspension of disbelief incredibly easy. The setting is amazing, a story in itself, but The Homestead is well-plotted and powerfully character-driven. Augustin Spark and Andrew Rosso, the leader and the man regarded as second-in-command, Jackson and Amy Burrs, the young couple disenchanted with their nine-to-five going-nowhere lives, and the one-legged war veteran, Tim Hunt, step off the page and inexorably draw the reader into their sunny, snowy, harsh, beautiful world. They are just a few of the well-drawn characters, mainly with a fascinating and shocking military background. In hindsight, the end that Douglass Hoover contrives couldn’t be any other, but the sheer drama will take your breath away.

Ruffina Oserio

The Homestead by Douglass Hoover is a gripping, original read, a story about a place and great characters. Hidden in the Alaskan bush is a community, a place of refuge for young men and women who are tired of the restrictions and the troubles of contemporary society. The Homestead is conceived to offer “…real, chaotic, primal freedom. A tribal society where the overbearing powers that be cannot restrict your free will; where your nine-to-five captivity in indentured servitude is a nightmare of the past.” The place is only accessible via helicopter or paths that are slippery and dangerous. Founded by Augustin Stark, this place is compelling proof that man can thrive in a natural habitat. But then things change when a grizzly bear attacks and sparks off a chain of events that could expose secrets the founder wants to keep hidden. Things quickly escalate with outside forces threatening the peace of this small community and the FBI on their trail.

Douglass Hoover has created a powerful story in The Homestead, a story that has great social, cultural, and anthropological underpinnings. Readers are introduced to a cast of compelling characters, including the founder of this Utopian community, the FBI, and eccentric individuals. The story is well-plotted and the writing impeccable. I enjoyed the use of the epistolary style, the natural-sounding dialogues, and the captivating descriptions. It is hard to read The Homestead without getting the impression that one is watching a movie, thanks to the author’s ability to create vivid images in the reader’s mind and a setting that feels so real. This is a great read!

Romuald Dzemo

In a letter to a couple disenchanted with society, Augustin Stark, the founder of The Homestead states that: “…the community itself is quite safe, it lies deep in a nearly uninhabitable parcel of land that is entirely cut off from modern society.” It is a place where people can freely be themselves, a safe haven for men and women who are disillusioned by the problems associated with today’s decaying and polluted society. In this community, people can explore the right of free will and live safely away from overbearing authorities that can put restrictions on them. It is a hidden haven, inaccessible, and far away from prying eyes. But then the peace of this community is threatened by attacks from a grizzly bear, and that is just the beginning. A powerful enemy is out to destroy the community that Augustin Stark founded. Does he have what it takes to fight them off?

The Homestead by Douglass Hoover is a gripping story that combines elements of suspense with adventure to create an engaging tale that could be read as a clever satire on today’s society. It’s a story about human nature and resilience. The plot is well-paced and designed to keep the reader turning the pages nonstop. It begins with the FBI carrying out an investigation, and quickly introduces the conflict. Augustin Stark is a memorable character, a man who hides deadly secrets in spite of his natural inclination to kindheartedness, and readers will be intrigued by this character. Douglass Hoover knows how to keep readers interested in this story by making them guess at every page. I was drawn in by the enticing writing and the compelling characters. The story is so beautifully told that I felt as though I was part of the community of The Homestead.