Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Marc Cameron
Kensington, March 2020
336 pages
ISBN: 1496727320

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In STONE CROSS, Marc Cameron's second Arliss Cutter novel, we find ourselves in the wilds of Alaska, in a Yup'ik village where negotiations are about to be conducted by a federal judge. However, the judge has been threatened and US Deputy Marshall Cutter, and his partner Lola Teariki, Cook's Island Maori by birth, are detailed to protect the judge.

Almost immediately, things get complicated. At a fishing lodge eight miles upriver from Stone Cross, a body has been found with a bullet in its head and the couple who are winter caretakers have disappeared. And of course in the thick fog, the Alaska State Troopers cannot get to the scene by air.

Cutter is asked to take on the case, with the assistance of Birdie Pingayak, native of Stone Cross and the principal of the local K-12 school. Birdie knows everyone and everything that a native of the wilds of Alaska. She can even mush a team of sled dogs.

So Cutter and Birdie partner in the quest for the murderers and the kidnapped couple. Their last dogsled trip into the wild is a most harrowing journey, chasing another dogsled team run by one of the kidnappers, in the fall just as freeze-up is beginning. Tumbling into open water and hypothermia are the least of their worries.

Meanwhile the action shifts to the cabin where the recently married couple - David and Sarah - is being held captive by two men, one terrifyingly cold and the other creepily friendly. David is tied to a chair and being tortured. It appears that he knows something the men want find out, while Sarah looks on. She has begun to doubt her marital choice and is suspicious about what David knows but is denying. However her sympathies are certainly aroused by David's suffering, and she is beginning to suspect that their lives will be ended before this ordeal is over.

Back in Stone Cross, Lola is dealing with the rapist who is lurking around Birdie's daughter, the product of his rape. Both of these scenarios are very exciting, with lots of take downs, fights, near-death attacks and more weather than you can shake a stick at.

STONE CROSS is filled with Alaskan lore from the Yup'ik culture. Who knew that these people were Russian Orthodox? And that they still run dogs? We also learn a great deal about how Alaska is policed, from the air, the ATV and on foot.

The characters are beautifully developed: the horrible villains, the lovely Yup'ik, and all the law enforcers who are driven, brave, in excellent shape, and lovers of hand-to-hand combat. The landscape is the strongest character: cold, wet, foggy and deadly.

STONE CROSS would make an excellent movie. The landscape is so vivid, the characters so strong and the action absolutely thrilling. Keep it up, Marc Cameron. I can't wait to read the next Arliss Cutter novel.

Susan Hoover is a playwright, independent producer and retired college English teacher. She lives in Nova Scotia.

Reviewed by Susan Hoover, March 2020

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]