Jim Schmidt is a high-powered computer whiz who decides to take early retirement from the stress of the rat-race and build his dream house at an avocado ranch on Starvation Mountain, near San Diego. Never married, but came close once, Jim is well off and content with his passion and love for owning and riding motorcycles. The mountains around his new house will provide wonderful trails for him to ride. When Jim meets a significantly younger, forty-something, Penny Lane, the connection is instant and enjoyable. Penny is tied up with an old high-school buddy who seems to be on the wrong side of the law. Caught up in a vicious drug gang web, neither had any intention of getting involved with, Jim and Penny find themselves on a bike ride for their lives, following the old trails of Route 66 as expressed in their favourite movie, Easy Rider. Robert Gilberg brings us Starvation Mountain, a thriller that combines 70’s pop culture with a love of motorcycles and especially Harley’s.
Perhaps it’s because I’m of that particular generation, but I certainly found the pop culture references; James Morrison, Easy Rider, Steppenwolf, James Dean etc, comforting and adding to the storyline. As a thriller, Starvation Mountain is pretty standard fare, but the journey is pleasant enough. Robert Gilberg’s two main characters Jim and Penny are believable enough and well developed by the author. The dialogue was a little contrived at times and often seemed too formal for a couple, but equally there were humorous and clever moments also in the dialogue. There are no great twists and turns, but I still enjoyed the read, particularly given the subject matter covered. I am sure there are plenty of readers who can also reminisce over the pop culture aspects and will find this, as I did, a satisfying story.