cover image A Ghost of Caribou

A Ghost of Caribou

Alice Henderson. Morrow, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-322300-4

In Henderson’s evocative third wilderness thriller (after 2021’s A Blizzard of Polar Bears), the Land Trust for Wildlife Conservation sends wildlife biologist Alex Carter to Bellamy, Wash., to determine whether the mountain caribou, extinct in the contiguous U.S. for years, has migrated down from Canada to the Selkirk Mountains in northeastern Washington. The day Alex arrives, the body of a forest ranger is found in the town park, and the sheriff asks her to be on the lookout for any remains of a hiker who vanished a year earlier. Meanwhile, residents of Bellamy Falls and activists are at odds with loggers and developers who want to clear a swath of old growth forest. Henderson neatly integrates a master class on forests, caribou, and other endangered animals into Alex’s suspenseful search for caribou—and for a killer. The eventual sighting of the elusive caribou, “the gray ghosts of the forest,” is indeed an exciting moment. Alex, who thrives on the outdoors and solitude, makes a formidable heroine, while the breathtaking scenery illustrates why a person would want to be one with nature. Environmental crime fiction doesn’t get much better than this. (Nov.)