Fatal Descent (An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery)

Fatal Descent (An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery)

Beth Groundwater

Language: English

Pages: 279

ISBN: 0738734829

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Between a rock and a hard paddle

Mandy Tanner and her fiancé Rob are leading an offseason rafting-climbing trip in Utah’s remote Canyonlands. Experienced guides, Mandy and Rob know they have to keep their cool after one of their group, Alex Anderson, appears to have become bear bait. Walled off from the outside world with eleven shell-shocked clients and miles of Colorado River whitewater ahead, Mandy’s nerves threaten to unravel when she learns that Alex’s death was not the work of a homicidal grizzly. Whether it was a crime of passion or the random act of a psychopath, Mandy fears that if they don’t root out the river rat among them, another camper will be running the rapids in a body bag.

“A remarkable book by an author who clearly knows and loves her territory. Don’t miss it!”―William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of the Cork O’Connor series

“Once again, Groundwater, mixing mystery with outdoor adventure, comes up with an excursion that will please most comers.”―Kirkus Reviews

“A thrilling journey . . . filled with river lore, vivid descriptions . . . and loving depictions of the varied characters.”―Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

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would share with the gal-pals. Mandy made sure all of the rafts were still secure before she returned to the tables. By then, everyone but the guides had left. Gonzo and Cool were washing pots and pans by the light of a camping lantern and dropping them into the dishnet hanging off one side of the kitchen prep table to dry. Rob, wearing his headlamp, was scouring the campsite for food droppings and trash. They had already tied down the locked food coolers on the rafts, and the trash bags would be

scanned the river for other boats but neither of them had seen any. They were totally alone. _____ After they beached at Lathrop Canyon, tying off their rafts next to Rob’s containing Alex’s body, Mandy led the group to the campsite. She saw Cool and Les sitting at one of the picnic tables in the shade. “Where’s Rob?” “Not back yet,” Cool said. Worry started to nibble on Mandy’s psyche. “How long has he been gone?” Cool checked his watch. “Over an hour.” Mandy looked

carrying lunch supplies to the picnic tables. The next thing she saw made her heart lurch. She grabbed Rob’s arm. “Look.” Diana and Hal had walked to the river bank. They stood there silently hugging each other in front of the body bag in Rob’s raft. When Amy made a move to join them, Alice stopped her and said, “Let them be.” She put her arms around her sister and held her stoically while Amy cried into her shoulder. Les joined them and put his arms around both of them. “I wish we

Anderson clan. “Okay.” Rob pushed off from the picnic table and stood. “Even though we’ll keep moving, we’ll also keep trying to find a way to get word out. We guides will search for hikers and other boats along the way. Once the radio dries out, I may be able to get it to work. There’s a repeater at the confluence, so I’ll try calling there. Our goal will be to arrange for Alex’s body to be taken to a morgue as soon as possible.” Diana took Hal’s hand and squeezed it. “And Hal and I

that goes over the saddle of the Loop and down the other side. We’ll hike it tomorrow morning and scan the river on both sides from the top to see if we can spot any other rafters or hikers. We had planned to offer the option of climbing and rappelling the cliff on the other side to those who want to, and we’ll still do that.” She glanced at Hal and Diana, who stood entwined in a comforting embrace, then continued, “Anyone who doesn’t want to do the hike can ride in the rafts on the river

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