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DEATH CANYON by David Riley Bertsch


by David Riley Bertsch

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4516-9800-8
Publisher: Scribner

Are you attached to Jackson Hole, Wyo.? Its peaceful beauty is being destroyed by the evil machinations of a shadowy group.    

Jake Trent used to be an East Coast attorney, a prosecutor and a member of a powerful task force. Now that he’s just a fishing guide, his old enemies are about to catch up to him. Though the summer tourists are just starting to arrive, an avalanche has already claimed one life and a bear attack, another. Jake’s overnight fishing trip turns into a nightmare when he finds a dead man hung up in the river and realizes that the authorities consider him a likely suspect. Meanwhile, park ranger Noelle Klimpton, who discovered the bear’s victims, a dead French tourist and his injured wife, feels uneasy about the attack. When she has the bear tooth she found checked out by an expert, he tells her that it hasn’t come from a living bear. Noelle and Jake, who both have the idea of interviewing the injured tourist, team up to put together the pieces of the puzzle. Although Jake’s been trying to fight the development of a local ranch, he seems to be the target of environmental activists willing to use force to achieve their aims. The entire area is racked all the while by small earthquakes that are getting stronger and more dangerous each day. Fearing that the local police may be in the pay of whoever is causing the troubles, Jake and Noelle risk their lives in a desperate attempt to uncover the truth.    

Bertsch’s debut, the first in a planned series, features an interesting premise, a stunning location, a protagonist with plenty of room for future growth, and the obligatory sex scenes but it never cranks up to the tension found in the most thrilling thrillers.