A second outing for homicide detective Alex Jensen of Alaska's State Troopers (Murder on the Iditarod Trail, 1991), who's now in Canada's Yukon Territory helping RCMP Inspector Del Delafosse with a cross-border case of robbery and murder. Working out of Dawson City, the two follow the trail of an empty boat on the Yukon River to the campsite of Jim Hampton--a Denver construction worker on a canoeing vacation who's found the bones and 1897 journal of Addison Riser, one of the Gold Rush victims of that terrible winter and of murderous partners as well. Hampton himself was nearly killed the day before by a marauding pair of roughnecks in a boat who shot at him and stolen his gear. When Jensen and Delafosse arrive at his camp, they find Hampton dazed, drenched in liquor, his gear neatly restored, with the murdered body of Warren Russell--former state senator and sport fisherman--nearby. That's just for starters in an overstuffed saga that goes on to another killing, a hair-raising mountain truck-ride, Jensen's jealousy-touched romance with dogsled champ Jessie, and an industriously colorful cast of loners and renegades--all interspersed with pages from Riser's journal, history mini-lectures, paeans to the beauty of the frozen North, and enough camp lore to fill a survival handbook. This second in the series has its moments but winds up a pretty indigestible stew. Meanwhile, Murder on the Iditarod Trail is slated to be a CBS-TV movie this year.