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Brutalized bodies have been showing up in the deep woods of northern Maine. The only evidence found are gigantic footprints in the snow. Native American game warden John Bear believes the killer is a WENDIGO, A malevolent manitou capable of taking possession of a human body and driven by a constant craving for human flesh. All John has to do is convince his fellow law enforcement officers what they are dealing with. In the meantime, the body count keeps rising.

Author Vaughn C. Hardacker spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, WENDIGO:

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

This book melds three genres: mystery, thriller, and horror, each of which have a message for us. There is, however, a single underlying theme in all three: the eternal battle between good and evil.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I was surprised by the many aspects of the WENDIGO myth. Not only was it a tale to scare children into behaving, but it is also a lesson in moderation.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

I have been greatly influenced by several of the best mystery writers: Mickey Spillane, Jeffrey Deaver, and Michael Connelly. I’ve also read most of Stephen King’s novels as well as the writing of Bram Stoker.


Vaughn C. Hardacker is a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps who served in Vietnam. He holds degrees from Northern Maine Community College, The University of Maine, and Southern New Hampshire University. His first two novels, Sniper and The Fisherman, were finalists for the Maine Literary Award in crime fiction. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. He resides in Stockholm, Maine.