Mysteries sprout from every corner of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Still hurting because Saxton Mills police chief Laurie Eberly has left his bed and board, science teacher Will Buchanan (Tracked in the Whites, not reviewed) hopes to get back into her good graces by taking her niece Erin Wickham, a student at Will’s boarding school, on a camping trip to meet her brother Josh, who’s been hiking the Adirondack Trail. Unfortunately, the trip is a disaster. First, Will catches Erin and Josh in an embrace that goes way beyond brotherly/sisterly love; then Josh vanishes from the encampment, only to turn up dead at the bottom of a cliff. Instead of asking which of the other campers might have pitched him over the edge, Will hies it back to work, where Erin will complicate his life still further by twining around him like a clinging vine, hitting on him, and responding to his principled rejections by filing rape charges. What does all this have to do with the death of Josh and the tangled family history that sent his mother, Kathryn Lloyd, reeling back and forth between two wildly unsuitable men, a control-freak Navy SEAL and a philandering ex-professor? There’s no time to answer that one either, since Erin and Laurie have both disappeared.
The mystery is ragtag, with shadowy characters passing through like rush-hour traffic. The outdoor adventure sequences, though, are worth the price of admission.