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Who is Jordan Gulok? by Stefan Kanfer

Stefan Kanfer
Stefan Kanfer's The Eskimo Hunts in Miami was released as an ebook in July. I asked Stefan to tell us more about his returning protagonist.

WHO IS JORDAN GULOCK? WHAT IS HE DOING? AND WHY IS HE DOING IT?
Jordan Gulock is an Inuit, a group better known by the umbrella term of Eskimo. Armed with little more than driftwood and bone weapons, these Arctic setters found a home in of the most inhospitable climates in the world. With handmade weapons, spears and fishhooks, they became nonpareil hunters and even whalers, always respectful to the animals they were forced to kill in order to survive. They invented the kayak, the toboggan, the parka and many other devices and garments for thriving in a climate that regularly hits 30 degrees below zero.

But the world that Jordan’s grandparents and parents knew is rapidly fading away. Alcoholism and disease followed in the wake of modern visitors, who exploited the turf and marginalized the people. The boy who grew to be the best hunter in the village had little patience for the traditional ways. He learned from schoolteachers, and later from new reports, about a strange exciting world to the south—otherwise known as North America. And unlike his schoolmates, and the insular members of his family, he wanted to be a part of it.

Jordan had been an outstanding grade school and high school student. But it was his prowess with a Remington that attracted the attention of Alaska University. Eager to diversify the student body, administrators offered the Inuit youth a combined athletic (riflery) and academic scholarship. Jordan left his native village without a backward glance, eager to join the world he had only seen on television in the local bar, where his father and his cronies spent far too much time.

From that point on, Jordan never drank anything stronger than Guinness Stout. Unlike the other members of his family, he remained fit, accomplished and ambitious His performances on the rifle range and in the classroom attracted the attention of military recruiters. He resisted at first, but the challenges of becoming a Navy SEAL proved irresistible. He joined up, intending to stay the requisite four years. Instead, he became a lifer, serving in the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and the States.

But his career took a different turn when an Admiral, working with the Joint Chiefs, realized that Jordan could be greater value outside the military establishment than in it. A official (and fictional) biography was carefully set up, allowing Jordan Gulok, U.S.N., to be given an honorable discharge for Post Traumatic Stress. (Two Captains who had been in combat situations with Jordan testified in secret that he was a total stoic, the least likely candidate to crack under pressure they had ever seen.) Jordan was thus freed to operate on his own, giving the Pentagon plausible deniability should things go wrong.

Which, of course, they inevitably do. In The Eskimo Hunts in New York, Jordan handles a severe winter with ease. The Inuit grew up in worse weather than this; when the police are rendered helpless, he moves with grace and determination, skirting the bounds of legality, bringing down an international ring dealing with contraband—and toxic—pharmaceuticals. This aspect of the adventure was not invented by the author; illegitimate “medicines” have been made in Russia, the Far East and even the U.S., then peddled on five continents as panaceas for diseases they cannot cure, or even alleviate.

In The Eskimo Hunts in Miami, Jordan leaves the New York winter for an unaccustomed heat and a very different kind of enemy—an army of Cuban exiles with an idée fixe: the taking back of the Caribbean island, a strategy that involves murder of American soldiers, raids on army forts, the suborning of diplomats, and worse. The Pentagon cannot risk an international incident that could trigger yet another war. Ergo, once again Jordan has to act on his own with very little in the way of firepower—other than his own expertise, courage and creativity. It’s the sort of situation that not many—even Navy SEALS—would choose to face alone. But for Jordan, going solo has become a way of life and, in truth, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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