Christine Garbo | Mortal Fall

His gut tells him that this incident makes no sense.

Books & Writers
Garbo handles her characters deftly.

Like her debut, The Wild Inside, Christine Carbo’s second mystery novel is set in and around Glacier National Park. Her central character, park police officer Monty Harris, has come to expect fatalities in the park every summer, mostly due to falls and swift-moving cold water. But when he is summoned to rappel down a cliff face off the Going-to-the-Sun Road to retrieve a body, his gut tells him that this incident makes no sense.

Why would an experienced outdoorsman like wildlife biologist “Wolfie” Sedgewick misstep here, just off a well-traveled trail? Sedgewick was the lead scientist on a study of wolverines in the area and had traversed many miles over rough terrain as part of his project. Things really get complicated when a second body is found, just below the location of the first discovery.

The story is multifaceted, with personalities and incidents branching off in many directions until Harris’s investigative skills pull the strands into perspective and reveal the truth. Carbo deftly handles her characters, describing their backgrounds and personalities, and sets the tone for how or why they may be involved in a possible murder, or murders.

At the beating heart of the story is the likeable Harris, recently separated from his wife, estranged from his brother, and haunted by a childhood incident for which he longs to find closure.

As events unfold, Carbo adds another dimension to the story by shedding light on the relationship between humans and the swiftly changing character and landscape of Glacier Park.

“… Carbo guides her readers through an intriguing mystery full of complex relationships and smartly-developed characters,” writes Allen Eskins, author of The Guide of Another.

Carbo holds a master’s in English and Linguistics and resides in northwest Montana where she owns and teaches at a Pilates studio, when she’s not writing.

– Judy Shafter