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Murder on the Horizon
A Search and Rescue # 3
M.L. Rowland

Berkley Prime Crime
August 4, 2015 / ISBN 978-0425263686

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


After members of the Timber Creek Search and Rescue team find a bag containing severed hands along a highway in the Mojave Desert, Gracie notices a tattoo on the wrist of one of the hands. Her research leads to the discovery that the murdered victims were peaceful anti-fascists. Gracie befriends ten-year-old Baxter, a repetitive runaway whose family is part of gun-toting anti-government extremists who live in the mountains. When the nearby home of new black neighbors is torched, Gracie suspects the group is to blame. Soon after Gracie is confronted by the group, malicious phone calls start and Gracie begins to fear for her life. The suspense mounts at a mad rush when a fire in the mountains nearby becomes a roaring inferno, threatening local homes and countless lives.

The author's personal experience with search and rescue offers great insight into how the teams work to find and save others, and I especially enjoyed the information I learn from each novel. Gracie is one of my favorite heroines - totally believable and fallible where love is concerned. She cares for her boss, Ralph, but is frustrated because he has become cold and indifferent. Gracie's friends are her dog Minnie and Allen, an ex-con and the head chef at the Ponderosa Camp that Gracie runs.

Like all of us, Gracie makes some wrong decisions, especially in antagonizing one of the Neo-Nazi fascists she's discovered. I realized she did it because, by confronting the man, she confirmed the group was responsible. Gracie has the courage to do what's right, yet it's difficult for her to make decisions regarding her love life, making for a complicated and interesting character. The author's exquisite descriptions and exciting, fast-paced plot made Murder on the Horizon one heck of a gripping mystery.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Zero-Degree Murder #1


Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2015