cover image In the Barren Ground

In the Barren Ground

Loreth Anne White. Amazon/Montlake Romance, $12.95 trade paper (435p) ISBN 978-1

In this exhilarating contemporary thriller with a dusting of romance, a young constable in the Mounties fights for her place and soon finds herself hunting a brutal killer in a tiny town in Canada’s frozen Northwest Territories. Tana Larsson is 24 years old, five months pregnant, and still a rookie. Despite her precarious status, Tana nevertheless ends up policing the far northern Twin Rivers on her own. The already-difficult job becomes harder and scarier when two students are found dead in the wilderness, their bodies ravaged by predators. Tana sees connections to previous deaths in spite of locals warning her to step off, and with the help of pilot Crash O’Halloran, she works to put the pieces together. The frigid setting is richly drawn, and White pulls no punches in depicting the bleak environment and the related struggles of the local First Nations population. The story is light on romance and heavy on suspense, sometimes detouring into horror, but Tana is thoughtfully developed and engaging, and readers will root for her and her happiness from start to finish. (Aug.)