A rafting trip down the Arkansas River gives a young Colorado river ranger a lesson in murder.
Mandy Tanner learned plenty about Pine Creek, the Numbers and Wildhorse Canyon when she worked as a guide for her Uncle Bill’s adventure tours. Now she’s using her skills to protect paddlers from the dangers of whitewater. Even an experienced guide like Gonzo Gordon wipes out every now and then, and when he flips his raft in a class V, Mandy handily plucks Hannah Fowler from the rapids. Tom King isn’t so lucky; when Mandy hauls him ashore from her cataraft, his pulse is thready. After the land developer dies on the way to the hospital, his widow Paula threatens to sue Mandy’s uncle. By the time the coroner decides that King was poisoned, not drowned, Bill Tanner is dead too. And although Mandy knows that poor diet and lack of exercise were as responsible for her uncle’s heart attack as the stress of getting blamed for Tom King’s death, she still wants to find the culprit. Not her brother David’s eagerness to sell the business and get back to his accounting practice, not her boyfriend Rob Juarez’s overprotective concern, not Chafee County Sheriff's Detective Quintana’s pleas, not even the rock through her window warning her off can stop the young ranger’s need to find the truth about how Tom King died on her watch.
Groundwater (To Hell in a Handbasket, 2009, etc.) kicks off a new series that combines outdoor action with more than a modicum of old-fashioned detection.