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
of other titles in this series