My second read from this talented author; this is a twisty, sinister story that cannot help but evoke echoes of the atmosphere and tension of the terrible true-life crime story of Gabby Petito.
With a spectacularly intimate feel, aided by the first-person POV voice of our main protagonist, Cassie Peters (or Adams, or Biggs), this book drops the reader into a world filled with menace and unanswered questions as we observe (but don’t yet understand the backstory of) our heroine on the run, – her many-monikered past only one of a long chain of mysteries the author hints at, surrounding her.
As Cassie surreptitiously travels across multiple U.S. states to land in her summer job, a climber and search and rescue (SAR) team member in the gorgeous (and potentially deadly) Yosemite Park, the pacing continues to build to an almost claustrophobic pitch as, still traumatized from a ten-year-old missing-person case involving a teenage couple that Cassie encountered during her last posting to this very same national park, it looks like the past may be repeating itself.
With the help of her colleagues, including the sweet and even-tempered Ben, the mean-spirited Garett, and her sometimes-prickly supervisor Jenny (with whom Cassie appears to have shared a complicated past), the SAR team handles cases of escalating tension and danger, both to the victims, and to the SAR team themselves. The author appears to have fun dangling a multitude of loose ends until the plot is fully peppered, – never revealing too much, too soon; dropping hints and clues with wild abandon, each of them as maddening and impenetrable as the next.
I enjoyed the immersive pace and pull of this read and was sorry to see it end. Tight, well-written and multi-layered, this story is guaranteed to keep a reader guessing, as the plot builds and winds and doesn’t let up for a second, – right up, in fact, to the doozie of an ending, which this reader came nowhere near predicting.
A great big thank you to the publisher @simon&schusterCA for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.