cover image Sleeping Lady: An Alex Jensen Mystery

Sleeping Lady: An Alex Jensen Mystery

Sue Henry. William Morrow & Company, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13747-2

Love of the Alaska wilderness, a hallmark of Henry's previous books (Termination Dust), shines throughout this hymn to black bears and bush pilots. Rochelle Lewis is told that her missing husband's plane has been located during the spring thaw near Mt. Susitna, known as The Sleeping Lady. Her relief is soured when she learns that his whereabouts are still unaccounted for, but that a woman's body was found in the cockpit. Chelle flies immediately to the site only to find Alaska State Trooper Jensen investigating what is clearly a matter of foul play: the plane had been shot down and the unidentified woman had been fatally beaten before the crash. Where had Norm Lewis been taking this woman? And why hadn't he told his wife about the unscheduled charter flight? As Jensen, the medical examiner and other officials try to identify the woman and track the shooter, Chelle begins to wake from her winterlong paralysis occasioned by her husband's disappearance. But after she discovers clues to his fateful trip, she is stalked by those who want Norm's purpose hidden. While the thin plot may disappoint some mystery traditionalists, Henry's textured characterization, her attentive depiction of the wilderness area and a brown bear's spring awakening and her indignation at hunting violations will engage most armchair travelers in the lower 48. (Sept.)