After talking her way into a job writing for Portland's Northwest Extreme magazine, Meg Reed may now really be in over her head. Actually, about 8,000 feet over her head. . .
She's at Mount Hood's remote Silcox Hut, covering the the seriously hardcore Ridge Rangers-- Oregon's elite high-altitude rescue team--during their four-day winter training. Sure, Meg beefed up her outdoor skills over the summer . . . but she's still hoping to cover the event with some hot chocolate by the cheery fireplace. Then, during a sudden blizzard, she swears she hears gunshots. No one stranded in the hut believes her . . . until self-absorbed Ridge Ranger Ben Rogers is found outside in a pool of frozen blood. Meg's now got to find this killer quickly . . . before cabin fever does them all in!
Meg Reed works for an outdoor sports magazine, even though she doesn't do any outdoor sports. Which her boss, Greg, doesn't know, because Meg keeps answering in the affirmative every time he asks her about it. Meg needed a job, and when Greg made the offer, she jumped at the chance, because she wanted to be a writer and reporter, just like her late father, Charlie Reed.
But Meg's learning to adapt to her environment. She's invited to do a story on the newly-founded Ridge Rangers, a high-altitude rescue team-in-training. She's going up 7,000 feet with them, to stay at the Silcox Hut, and watch them as they practice. But before anyone can even start, there's a blizzard the first night and the team's financial backer Ben Rogers, goes missing and is later found under a picnic table, shot dead.
Meg at first thinks her friend Henry, who brought a gun along, might be the killer. But having been with his former rescue group, the Crag Rats, just recently, soon banishes that thought and begins seeking clues as to who might have actually done the deed. Even though she's warned away by Greg. And Sheriff Daniels, the investigating officer, who also happens to be courting her Grandmother, 'Gam.'
As if that weren't enough, she's stuck with a bridezilla in the form of Malory, who's engaged to one of the rangers, Jackson Hughes, who is also a doctor. Then there's Lola, the sort-of housemother who has a secret of her own, Clint, who left the Rats to become a Ranger, and when she finally makes it down the mountain she runs into her best friend Jill, who is there to attend a wedding, along with her boyfriend, Will, whom Meg doesn't like at all, and a surprise in Matt, her maybe-could be-wannabe friend/boyfriend.
Needless to say, it all makes for one interesting book. From the first night when we meet the obnoxious Ben and the rest of the Rangers, and right through the end of the book, there are a lot of red herrings along the way, with Meg constantly receiving false information (inadvertently) and mixed signals from all of her 'suspects.'
Using the excuse that she's naturally curious because she's a reporter, she keeps on digging where she should have let things lie. And soon enough, it becomes clear that someone wants her to say out of it all - permanently.
A delightful read and worthy endeavor to the second in the series. I'm eager to read the next one as soon as it is published. Highly recommended.