cover image Deadfall


Sue Henry. William Morrow & Company, $22 (296pp) ISBN 978-0-380-97661-4

Iditarod musher Jessie Arnold is the focus of unwanted attention in the engrossing fifth Alaska mystery following Death Takes Passage (1997), as she becomes the target of an unknown stalker. Annoying phone calls with silence answering her hellos and threatening messages received in the mail quickly escalate to attacks on her beloved sled dogs and a near fatal sabotage attempt. Alaska State trooper Alex Jensen, Jessie's boyfriend, convinces her to abandon their home in Knik and go to ground in a safe haven while he and his colleagues try to identify and stop the stalker. Jessie chooses an (almost) abandoned island in Kachemak Bay as her refuge, taking with her only her lead dog, Tank. Swinging back and forth between the stalker's attempts to locate Jessie and Alex's efforts to find the stalker, Henry ratchets the suspense steadily and unnervingly. The beautiful and treacherous Alaskan environment is used to wonderful effect as wild storms batter Jessie's island retreat. While trying to cope with the immediate threats posed by the unknown stalker, Jessie also tries to come to grips with her deepening relationship with Alex and the threat to her vaunted independence. This tale, with its riveting suspense, wildly beautiful and dangerous setting and gutsy heroine, should bring this already notable series even further attention. (July)