Cocaine smuggling, genteel adultery, financial disaster, timber rustling, and gold mining keep things humming for a Suffolk solicitor as he tours the Yukon, British Columbia, and a little bit of Alaska. Master storyteller Innes does some reaching and stretching to fit a story into this rugged, beautiful, and sparsely settled corner of North America. Lawyer and yachtsman Philip Redfern finds himself in the thick of things when Tom Halliday, millionaire playboy, disappears. Red. fern has not only recently helped out Halliday with his will, he's also helped himself to Halliday's dishy wife Miriam; so when the distraught Mrs. Halliday finds herself a possible widow and a probable bankrupt, Halliday having vanished without a trace and without a pound in the joint account, Redfern feels obliged to drop everything and fly off to the Yukon to see what he can do. Everyone fears the worst. Halliday had allowed a gang of Chicago capitalists to plunder the stand of bighearted western red cedars his father planted under the protection of a legal curse; but, with his gold mine playing out, there's no place else to go for cash. Pesky South Americans keep crossing Redfern's path, muttering in menacing Spanish as he tours the wilds, and where there's Pesky South Americans, there's got to be drags. It's an awfully long time before the action and suspense kick in here. Lots of travel and a few sermons about the nobility of trees, but when the shooting finally starts, innes still has the craftsman's touch.