Novelist-film actor Knox writes of the Canadian fur trade in 1790 with melodramatic zing and light-shot descriptions. Alan Armistead, turning twenty-one, hasn't seen his golden-haired older brother Leo since he ran off to fight beside George Washington fifteen years ago. Now the King's fur trade is being undermined by raiders and Alan is sent on a secret mission to help foil the thieves. Along the way be falls for a tomboy girl-of-the-woods who is really all woman. Together they bury a murdered man she says is Leo (and she should know since he was her first lover), but it later appears he's alive. Alan's idolization of his adventurous brother is tested when the likelihood arises that Leo is a raider leader. Knox brings the forest brimmingly alive and has a solid grip on the late-adolescent mind. He also has a rare way of opening up events, whether a birthday party at a trading post or the bladder agony of a man tied to a tree, so that the slower passages of time are not only experienced but endured. Nothing profound perhaps, but fresh and bracing.