A wildlife biologist’s shocking death leads to chilling discoveries about a home for troubled teens in Christine Carbo’s haunting and compelling new crime novel set in the wilds of Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park police officer Monty Harris knows that each summer at least one person—be it a reckless, arrogant climber, or a distracted hiker—will meet tragedy in the park. But Paul “Wolfie” Sedgewick’s fatal fall from the sheer cliffs near Going-To-the-Sun Road is incomprehensible. Wolfie was an experienced and highly regarded wildlife biologist who knew all too well the perils that Glacier’s treacherous terrain presents—and how to avoid them.
The case, so close to home, has frayed park employee emotions. Yet calm and methodical lead investigator Monty senses in his gut that something isn’t right. So when whispers of irresponsibility or suicide emerge, tarnishing Wolfie’s reputation, Monty dedicates himself to uncovering the truth, for the sake of the man’s family and to satisfy his own persistent sense of unease.
Monty discovers that Wolfie’s zealous studies of Glacier’s mysterious, embattled wolverine population, so vital to park ecology, had met resistance, both local and federal. To muddy the waters further, a wilderness facility for rehabilitating troubled teens—one that Monty’s older brother attended—may have a disturbing connection to the case. As Monty delves further into an investigation that goes deeper than he ever imagined, he wrestles with the demons of his past, which lead back to harsh betrayals he thought he’d buried long ago.
And then a second body is found.
National Park Service police officer Monty Harris, the narrator of Carbo's compulsively readable second novel of suspense set in Montana's Glacier National Park (after 2015's The Wild Inside), suspects the fatal fall that biologist Paul "Wolfie" Sedgewick took over a cliff was no accident. One of the leading members of the Wolverine Research Team, Paul was an experienced hiker who knew the terrain well. When Monty, who admits he has an "overzealous affection for order," investigates, he learns that Paul's studies of the park's wolverine population made the biologist some enemies. Carbo does a good job of balancing Monty's emotional anxieties connected with the long-ago disappearance of a childhood friend, Nathan Faraway, with sweeping descriptions of Glacier's grandeur. The parade of new cast members, though distracting at times, never slows Monty's steady pace toward uncovering the truth. Readers may feel one step ahead of Monty up to the climax, when the more satisfying revelations relate to the park officer's personal life.