cover image Breaking Wild

Breaking Wild

Diane Les Becquets. Berkley, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-28378-3

After three young adult novels, Les Becquets scores big with this very adult thriller about two women facing life and death challenges in western Colorado’s rugged wilderness. During a November elk-hunting trip, Amy Raye Latour disappears while hunting early one morning. Married with children, Amy Raye is an experienced outdoorswoman and a skilled bow hunter, so it’s a surprise when she simply vanishes. Pru Hathaway is a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management, a capable, self-reliant law enforcement officer, raising a teenage son as a single mom. Pru and her search and rescue dog, Kona, join the county sheriff in the desperate search as winter weather closes in. The search reveals few clues, but Pru and the sheriff both fear the worst—that Amy Raye is dead, by accident, suicide, animal attack, or something else. After four days, the search is called off, but Pru isn’t convinced Amy Raye is dead and continues to search. In alternating chapters, the lives of the two women are exposed. Amy Raye hides a disturbing secret from her husband, which makes the sheriff look at a motive for possible murder. And Pru’s determination to find Amy Raye reveals her strong character. This is a powerful story of survival, wilderness field craft, and fractured relationships packed into a suspenseful plot with more than a few surprises. Agent: Michelle Brower, Folio Literary. (Feb.)