Monday, June 9, 2014

Scene of the Climb

Author:  Kate Dyer-Seeley
Genre:  Mystery

Five Stars

But a girl needs a job, so Meg bluffs her way into writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg's idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel's Rest - a two-thousand-foot peak - to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can't imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate.  And if the climbing doesn't kill her, a murderer just might...

********

Meg Reed lives with her friend Jill and sleeps on the couch.  She lives in Portland, Oregon and needs a job so she can get a place of her own.  One day, while out for coffee, Meg trips on the rain-slicked floor and a hunky man helps her up.  He starts talking to her, learns she's the daughter of a well-known newspaperman and tells her he is the editor of an outdoor magazine.  When he hears that she herself is a writer, he offers her a job on the spot...of course, she kind of fudges a little bit to get the job - she tells him she loves the outdoors and sports.

So when Meg finds out that she has an assignment covering Race the States, a reality show filming the finale in Oregon, she thinks, Great!...until she finds out she has to go along with the racers up a mountainside and get pictures and story background.  Did I mention Meg is afraid of heights?  Terrified actually?

But she decides to fake it as much as she can.  When she hikes as high as she can without passing out, she decides to "fake a fall," and slide down the mountainside a little.  Upon doing this, she sees a body pass by.  Someone fell, or was pushed, as Meg is sure happened.  When her new boss, Greg, hears what happened, he tells her to keep quiet and not say anything to anyone.  Meg knows what she saw; she's sure Greg is suspicious too.

I was first interested because I've done quite a bit of hiking myself (not in Oregon, but other western states), so I know something about the equipment and safety measures you need to take. The author has done a wonderful job with explaining and visualizing the terrain and vistas of the area in the mountains near Portland. By the end of the book, I've decided that it's definitely on my list of places to visit.

The story is certainly one that keeps you reading.  The action moves fast, and there is a lot going on:  people who aren't the nicest and seem to have something to hide; friends who are willing to help her out while still trying to protect her; a grandmother (Gam) who has spiritual powers; and a nice blend of plot twists all the way through.  When the ending came, I was surprised; there were enough red herrings that you weren't sure who the killer was, and everything was tied together nicely.

I definitely plan on reading the next in this series and highly recommend this for anyone who likes mysteries, hiking, or just reading a good book.

http://www.amazon.com/Scene-Climb-Pacific-Northwest-Mystery/dp/0758295316/

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