I am super excited to welcome M.L. Rowland back
to Escape With Dollycas today.
I love her Search and Rescue Mysteries.
Because I write adventure mysteries and base much of what I write about on my own experiences, I was asked recently, “What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?”
Since the answer to that question was long and involved and complex, and included some boring topics like “perceived risk” and “managed risk,” I decided to rewrite the question into “What’s the earliest adventurous thing you remember doing? What’s the one experience that started it all?”
When I was fourteen, my father, who at the time was working as a marine zoologist, accepted a research assignment on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. My mother–not to be left behind for the summer–plucked my two older sisters and me out of our cocoon in a conservative western-Michigan town and flew us 5700 miles west to the tiny island in the south Pacific.
It didn’t take long for my sisters, ages 18 and 20 and, to pal up with some of the island palangis (whites)–university students manning a satellite tracking station. If anyone minded little sister tagging along, no one ever said anything to me.
It was a summer of adventure firsts for me: my first close encounter with a shark–while snorkeling the airport lagoon, my first mountain climb–to the top of Matafao, the island’s tallest peak (only 2100 feet of elevation gain, but, hey, it was my first one). But one adventure stands out above the rest.
At that time, only one plane departed the island each day–at 1 o’clock in the morning. I don’t remember why or how I was out so late at night, but I do remember crouching beside my sisters and three or four young men behind the heavy vegetation lining Pago Pago airport’s one runway. Off to our left, the Pan Am jet moved into position, its lights brilliant white starbursts in the darkness. The jet lumbered forward, engines growing louder and louder until it rolled by us. As a group, we ran from our hiding places and lay down half-on, half-off the runway pavement. At the end of the runway, the jet made its turn, then surged back toward us for take-off. I squeezed my eyes closed and pressed my hands over my ears to shut out the screaming engines.
I can still feel the blast of heat and stones from the massive jet engines as the wing passed right over our heads.
Murder on the Horizon
(A Search and Rescue Mystery)
3rd Book in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Mystery (August 4, 2015)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00QH83240
The Search and Rescue mystery series returns readers to Timber Creek, where the hot, dry Santa Ana winds are blowing. But more than just the threat of wildfire endangers the tiny mountain community…
Gracie and her Search and Rescue teammates are searching along the highway in the middle of the blisteringly hot Mojave Desert when they make a grisly discovery—a trash bag containing human body parts. Not long after, Gracie’s growing friendship with a ten-year-old runaway draws her unwittingly into the secretive, hate-filled world of the boy’s family—a group of gun-toting extremists. As a wildfire roars into Timber Creek, Gracie finds herself caught up in an explosive plot that, unless she stops it, will destroy countless innocent lives.
M.L. Rowland continues to top herself.
With the wildfires and drought in the news this third installment of the Search and Rescue Mysteries is especially topical. Gracie and the other team members are on standby and the community is on high alert as the Santa Ana winds could shift at any moment and put Timber Creek and Camp Ponderosa right in the path of the wildfire that is ravaging the nearby mountains.
In addition to the fires, the SAR crew makes an heart stopping discovery in the desert and a 10 year old boy is a frequent cause of concern as he keeps running away from home with the team being called out to search for him. Gracie befriends the child and his grandmother to try to get to the bottom of his story. What she learns will have readers glued to the pages.
Gracie has just become the manager of Camp Ponderosa after the huge shake up that took place in Murder Off The Beaten Path. She is working with a smaller crew to finish out this season and that keeps her pretty busy without much spare time. The reason I truly enjoy this character is because she always goes above and beyond expectations. She makes time for people in need and works hard to earn their trust and really get to know them.
We meet several new characters in this story and some will truly touch your heart, others will have you thinking twice and some are just downright scary. Rowland brings them all roaring to life in a way that will totally grab onto you and not let go.
The suspense in this story builds and builds as we follow Gracie down several paths we wish she wouldn’t travel. At one point she gets herself into such a dire circumstance I was literally cringing as I was reading.
Rowland not only writes a fantastic suspense filled story but she describes the Timber Creek area so perfectly that it is so incredibly easy to escape right into this book. You are driving down the roads or hiking up the paths or running along plateau right along with Gracie and sometimes her dog, Minnie. Sometimes you wish you were really there to protect or help her.
I have enjoyed all 3 books in this series very much. Each one even more than the last. This one ends with Gracie at a crossroad in a her life and I am really looking forward to her next adventure wherever it takes her.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”