Jason Audley, 35 years old, has had a colorful past (see The Skeleton Train and Winter Lake for his earlier adventures). Once a whimsical drifter, we find him now with a good job, a beautiful girlfriend, a nice home, and a faithful dog. What could go wrong? It begins when his sister plans a trip to Africa, his girlfriend rides a bicycle, and a strange old man wants to lead Jason on a spiritual journey. As in the other Jason Audley novels, the reader encounters a parade of quirky characters, fast-paced misadventure, loss and redemption, all set in the rolling countryside and small towns of Northwest Wisconsin.
Winter Lake continues the story of Jason Audley, introduced in the novel, The Skeleton Train. It is now seven years later and we find Jason wandering northern Wisconsin as the drummer in the woeful Chess Chalmers Band. His journey eventually takes him to Winter Lake and adventure, where his aimlessness doesn’t work, where others grow to depend on him, and where he finds that he must confront his past to reveal his future.
The Skeleton Train tells the story of Jason Audley, a contemporary Huck Finn. To others, Jason appears alienated, even troubled. Yet inside he’s resourceful, forgiving, and sometimes daring. Jason narrates his story with wry wit, combining his wild quest for a missing girl with his internal quest for understanding. Along the way, Jason encounters other sojourners, both helpful and dangerous. And Jason discovers that the path he chooses can have deadly consequences.