cover image Never Come Down

Never Come Down

Michelle Black. Wolf Moon Press, $12 (300pp) ISBN 978-0-9658014-0-9

A young woman inherits a remote ghost town in the Colorado Rockies and uncovers a mysterious connection to a distant mining ancestor in this lightly entertaining first novel. When her Aunt Grady leaves the entire ghost town of Leap Year to Darcy Close, she moves there and soon comes to love the peculiar place and her unusual neighbors whose bumper stickers read: ""There are no rules above 10,000 feet."" It's not long before she develops a relationship with Evan Allender, an attractive sometime carpenter and full-time hippie with two children. Through details in Aunt Grady's letter, Darcy begins to discover something of their common ancestor, Conor McAllister, who came to the Tenmile Canyon a century ago when the area bustled with gold and silver mines. Darcy's first-person account runs parallel with Conor's third-person story of seduction and treachery. In the flashback portions, Conor is horrified when he discovers that his beloved, Elodie Kelly, murdered her husband. As Darcy unearths Conor and Elodie's story, she is involved in a mine excavation that brings her unexpected riches. Black almost spoils the tale with her canned ending; but, despite digressions into the lives and thoughts of minor characters and too many serendipitous coincidences, she manages to fashion a mildly romantic western mystery. (Oct.) FYI: This first fiction title issued by Wolf Moon Press had a limited distribution in the Rocky Mountain states in 1996. It won the Colorado Independent Publisher Award for Fiction in 1997.