Going Home

Richard Wheeler, Author
Richard Wheeler, Author Forge $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-87310-3
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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Wheeler's 11th novel in his Spur Award--winning Skye's West series continues the mountain man adventures of Barnaby Skye and his Crow Indian wife, Victoria. The time is 1832, six years after Skye deserted from the Royal Navy to hide out as a fugitive in the wild, harsh mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Skye's reputation as a savvy mountaineer and leader garners a job offer from the prestigious Hudson's Bay Company, but first he must return to London to clear his name. Eager to restore his reputation and see his English family, and assured that a pardon awaits him, Skye agrees to the offer. Accompanied by Victoria, he sails from Oregon on a company ship and straight into trouble. In Mexican California, Skye is recognized as a deserter and must flee the clutches of the Royal Navy, the perfidy of corrupt Mexican officials and the specter of starvation. He and Victoria struggle to return to the safety of the mountains, but first face bandits, an Indian massacre and a hungry grizzly bear. Cohorts in their adventures include a tenacious mongrel named No Name and Alistair Nutmeg, a na ve, hapless English botanist filled with excitement and little good sense, who provides Skye and Victoria no end of worry as they baby-sit the tenderfoot through the wilderness. Wheeler has a gift for creating believable, convincing characters, and Skye and Victoria are two of his best frontier portrayals. It is their devoted relationship and shared trepidation about the white man's world that endear the reader to this enduring series. The next installment will be much anticipated. (Dec.)
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