cover image Termination Dust: An Alex Jensen Mystery

Termination Dust: An Alex Jensen Mystery

Sue Henry. William Morrow & Company, $23 (305pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13746-5

Overplotted and tamer than Henry's award-winning Murder on the Iditarod Trail, this sequel takes its title from the Alaska Gold Rush, when ``termination dust'' meant the first snowfall of the season, signaling the end of the year's prospecting. Alaska state trooper Alex Jensen is in Canada working with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Charles ``Del'' Delafosse when a retired Alaskan senator Warren Russell is found murdered. Not far off, the police come across Colorado canoeist Jim Hampton, who appears hungover and dazed but denies shooting Russell and insists that he himself was attacked by two others who stole his gear, which has been mysteriously returned, along with a skull and some old bones Hampton had discovered upriver. As Del investigates the murder, Jensen reads the Gold Rush journal Hampton found near the bones. Henry crosscuts the account of the murder investigation with entries from the journal, which is offered in full at the end of the novel. The two plot threads remain tenuously connected, despite the Yukon blizzard that occurs in each. (May)