Happy Birthday Jessie"" reads the tag attached to the bear trap that breeder/musher Jessie Arnold's sled-dog Nicky has stepped into. The sadistic prank has obviously been planned in advance, and as further harassment--silent phone calls, another bear trap, a longer and more threatening note--makes clear, the perp obviously isn't going away. So Jessie, after a mountain drive on doctored brakes sends her truck off the road, decides to take herself away instead, by hiding out on Kachemak Bay's deserted Niqa Island while her frustrated suitor, State Trooper Alex Jensen (Death Takes Passage, 1997, etc.) starts tracking her tormentor. As Jessie hunkers down with only her lead dog Tank for company, Alex and his buddy Ben Caswell make the rounds of possible suspects: the anonymous writer who complained to the Iditarod committee about Jessie's entrance in the race, the bad guys who've vowed revenge on Alex when he put them away, the bad guys' bad friends. With every step that takes them closer to Jessie's stalker, though, they're falling further behind, since the stalker's already traced Jessie to Niqa Island and turned her wildly beautiful retreat into an inescapable trap. Stolid detective work alternates with a woman in peril against a spectacular, dangerous backdrop. The result is surefire suspense--and the tightest, most compelling of Henry's five Alaska novels to date.