Christine Carbo sets her third mystery novel in and around Glacier National Park, and brings back the familiar character of park police officer Monty Harris. It’s summertime, and dense smoke hovers over much of the park as an advancing wildfire threatens to incinerate the landscape.
While digging a fuel line, a fire crew uncovers a shallow grave containing human remains. An investigation into the identity of the remains must proceed quickly due to the advancing inferno.
Eschewing protocol for the sake of efficiency, Monty seeks the assistance of Gretchen Larson, the county’s lead crime-scene investigator, and someone he trusts implicitly.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, a teenager suddenly disappears from a campground. As Monty delves into the mystery of the buried skeleton and the (presumed) kidnapping, he begins to wonder if there’s a connection between the two crimes.
Carbo gives an interesting twist to the story by alternating chapters told in first person by Monty and Gretchen. Each character has a backstory that adds considerable flavor to the novel.
The author’s familiarity with the physical area infuses credibility and suspense to events as they unfold. Combining complex characters, multi-layered relationships, smart dialog and rich descriptions of the area, she delivers a mystery that works on many levels.
“Engrossing…. An intricate plot complements compelling characters,” writes Publishers Weekly.
Carbo is the author of The Wild Inside and Mortal Fall. She lives with her family in Whitefish. Learn more about the author at www.christinecarbo.com.
– Judy Shafter