The Last Entry by Jim Hamilton
Tucker Trivette is in a bind. He joined the Navy straight out of high school. Without many options, it seemed like the right thing to do. Now he's heading home...to what, he's not sure, but he's hoping things are better. They're not. Set upon by hard times and a childhood nemesis, Tucker seeks redemption and reward hidden deep in the forest, to reclaim a legacy hinted at within his grandfather's cryptic journal. Tucker understands the value of friendship and family--and paying his debts. Determined to play the hand he's been dealt to start over and succeed, he'll have to bend the rules to get there.
The Last Entry is painted in the woodland tones of western North Carolina's rural mountains--a cultural crossroads of post-modern Appalachia where old-time traditions class with a rapidly changing world. Jim Hamilton weaves his expertise of natural history into a story and characters which reflect the region's burgeoning diversity, its struggles with poverty, and a black-market economy still tied to its land and forests.