The accidental discovery of a long-missing girl turns a town upside down.
When recent widow Morgan Iverson’s brother handed her the keys to his rock shop in a small Colorado mountain town, she was lucky to have help from Del, an old cowboy who assists her in running the shop and taking care of the two resident donkeys. Now, in order to improve her knowledge of rocks, Morgan looks for help elsewhere by auditing a class in geology taught by professor Esteban. During a class field trip, she stumbles on a hut containing human bones and is scared by a large man she dubs Big Foot and his dog. Soon enough the bones are identified as those of Carlee Kruger, the younger daughter of Gerda Kruger, who runs a little auto repair shop. Ever since an expansive search operation found no trace of her, the locals have assumed that Carlee, a popular beauty and prom queen, had either run away or gotten lost in the mountains. The unknown man who startled Morgan is an obvious person of interest, but Morgan’s curiosity, which has landed her in trouble before (Stone Cold Dead, 2013), leads her to dig deeper into the past. Her friendship with newspaperman Kurt Willard might well lead to romance, but she and her children are having a hard time getting closure on her marriage to her late husband, which she still views through rose-colored glasses. Her investigations stir up trouble, and a rare mineral she found at the hut adds even more people to the roster of those who may have wanted Carlee, and now Morgan, dead.
Dilts fleshes out her characters’ personalities and motivations here, for a definite improvement over Morgan’s debut.