Recently, as a group of us were wrapping up a work day on our hunting property, we gathered back at our camp house to chew the fat before departing.
As I walked up, I heard Bobcat McCarter say, “I’m not ever staying down here by myself again. I can tell you that.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“I was here by myself one night and was on my way out when I got to the gate and found a car parked outside of it,” he said. “I asked ’em what they were doin’ and they said they were lookin’ at the stars.”
Bobcat locked the gate, drove to the other side of the property and went out the back side.
“Then I read this book about a guy turkey hunting on a place that sounded just like ours and these nuts came in on him. That was enough for me. I’m not sleeping down here alone again,” he said.
After my brain absorbed the fact that I had actually heard Bobcat say he had read a book, I asked, “What was the book?”
“It was called ‘The Dummy Line,’ ” he answered.
My eyes opened wide at his response because, although I hadn’t read it, I know the author.
“The Dummy Line” was written a few years ago by Bobby Cole of West Point, Miss., and released in October 2011.
Bobby is president of Mossy Oak’s Biologic, the “food plot gurus” of the hunting world and a crowd I’ve had quite a few dealings with over the years.
The thought had crossed my mind on more than one occasion that I needed to take a look at this novel, if for no other reason than because I had a connection to the author. I just hadn’t gotten around to it.
I downloaded the book. From the first page I was hooked and did something I had only done one other time in my life. I read the entire thing in one sitting. It was that good.
Without giving too much away, “The Dummy Line” is about a guy named Jake Crosby. An avid hunter, Jake delights in sharing his passion with his young daughter and loves that she has taken to the outdoors like a duck to water.
His wife, on the other hand, has no interest in it, which results in plenty of opportunities for the two of them to enjoy daddy-daughter time in the woods. As the book opens, the pair are preparing to head down to their hunt club for an overnight trip to turkey hunt the next morning.
Boy, was this sounding familiar! As I was reading, I halfheartedly started to wonder if Bobby Cole had planted cameras around my house. I couldn’t help but see myself going through all of the same motions with my Maggie.
What Jake and little Katy didn’t know was this trip to the turkey woods was going to bring them face-to-face with one of the most horrifying ordeals a hunter could ever imagine, and the next 24 hours would have them in an all-out scramble to save their lives.
Now, when I say I read the book in a single sitting, I mean it. I didn’t finish the thing until around 3:30 a.m. and, upon completing it, found I couldn’t wait to give the author a call to talk about it.
“This is Bobby,” the voice on the other end answered Monday at the BioLogic offices.
“Bobby,” I responded. “This is Brad Harvey.”
“Hey, Brad. What can I do for you?” Bobby asked.
I went on to admit my embarrassment having just read his book. “The Dummy Line” was a huge seller, finishing No. 2 overall behind “The Hunger Games” in Amazon Kindle sales for 2012. It had reached No. 1 in the category of Mysteries and Thrillers. His follow-up, “Moon Underfoot,” has already matched that despite being released only two months ago. His stories are appealing to hunters and non-hunters.
When I asked Bobby how he came up with the storyline, he explained that the basis of it hit him in a dream. Those images became chapter six in the book. He spent about a year filling in the rest on nights and weekends.
One of the things I loved about the whole story is, unlike most works of fiction, the setting for the book is real.
Bobby lives in West Point. The main character lives in West Point.
The hunt club where he action starts is just outside of Livingston, Ala., in an area I’ve spent a little time with one of Bobby’s workmates, Lannie Wallace, who works in the Mossy Oak Properties division.
Even “the dummy line” itself is real. But if you don’t know what it is, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
What it boils down to is this: Bobby Cole’s story is beyond good. It’s great. His character development is strong and not one person who reads it could honestly say they can’t close their eyes and perfectly envision each and every one of them and their mannerisms.
“The Dummy Line” draws the reader in and holds you hostage because you just can’t help but to turn the page and keep going. Needless to say, I was impressed.
So much so, in fact, I’ve already downloaded “Moon Underfoot” and probably will have completed it by the time these words are printed.
Like to get your hands on a signed copies of Bobby Cole’s thrillers for free? Visit Bobby Cole’s fan page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bobbycolebook), “like” it and simply leave a comment saying, “Brad sent me! I want those books!” Bobby will be selecting a few random winners to receive them.
Just remember, if it was good enough to get old Bobcat to read a book, then you know you’re gonna love it.
Brad Harvey is a freelance writer in Clover. Visit his website at bradharveyoutdoors.com or follow him on Twitter @BHarveyOutdoors.