Biting the Moonby Martha Grimes
The girl’s hair was white below the scarf, now a scarf of snow, and there was a fine rime of ice on her eyebrows. Her mouth was so numb she couldn’t have spoken even if there had been someone to speak to. She wore the snowshoes she had found back in the cabin and had brought the supplies, painkiller and bandages, whatever she might need to dress a wound. She wondered if trappers wore snowshoes. Probably not. Anyway, a trapper wouldn’t put himself through the unpleasantness of coming out in a heavy snow like this to check his traps. In New Mexico, the law was you had to check the traps every thirty-six hours, but who paid any attention? An animal trapped stayed trapped.
The New York Times Book Review
The Mystery Reader.com
A New Martha Grimes Novel! Imagine waking up alone one morning in a Santa Fe bed-and-breakfast, not knowing how you got there or even who you are. When you find the owner, she describes your arrival the night before, "dead asleep" in your Daddy's arms. But you know the man called Daddy isn't your father. You're unsure just who or what he is, but your gut tells you it isn't good. Your gut tells you to run. Such is the chilling and mind-bending opening premise of Martha Grimes's latest mystery, Biting the Moon, featuring a young woman in search of an identity, answers, and justice.
After awakening in the bed-and-breakfast, the young girl takes a roll of cash, a sleeping bag, and a gun she finds in the room, sensing that "Daddy" is about to return. By sticking to the back roads and accepting a ride from a helpful but unsettling stranger, she eventually finds her way to the mountains and an isolated cabin, where she holes up for the winter. There she befriends the only creatures more desolate than she is -- the wild animals caught in the illegal steel-jawed traps someone has set out on the mountains.
Plagued by the mystery of who she is and how she came to be here, she struggles to remember. The only clue she has is the initials on her backpack: AO. After running through all the "A" names she can think of, she eventually adopts one from the surrounding mountains that have been her haven, plucking "Andi" from the Sandia Crest mountains. But many questions still linger and gnaw, and eventually the refuge of the cabin is disrupted when she finds small, disturbing signs that someone has been there while she was out tending the animals.
Then, on one of her trips into town for supplies, an accident of fate allows her to meet and befriend Mary Dark Hope, a well-to-do but orphaned 14-year-old being cared for by the family housekeeper. Not only has Mary lost her parents; her beloved older sister, who bore a striking resemblance to Andi, was murdered a few years ago as well. Together the two share their stories, expose their wounds, and open their minds and hearts to one another.
Inevitably, these two strong-minded and high-spirited girls decide to investigate Andi's background in search of some answers. What they uncover from the owner of the bed-and-breakfast unsettles Andi when she realizes that the mysterious Daddy may well have been the very stranger who gave her a lift the day she escaped. Sensing it was also he who had been in the cabin, Andi becomes convinced Daddy is watching her and may come back for her. She decides her only recourse is to turn the tables, take charge of her life, and find him first. Sifting through the few meager clues they have -- snippets of conversations Daddy had with the B&B owner and the Idaho license plates on his car -- the girls make the decision to embark on a perilous journey, hoping to find both Daddy and Andi's past.
The hazards, tension, and emotions all mount as the girls are sidetracked by illegal dogfights, white-water rafting with a murderous guide, and the cruelty of canned hunts, for which people pay big bucks to gun down a half-domesticated wild animal inside a cage. By the time they find Daddy, they also find a trail of molestation, abuse, abduction, and murder, leaving the girls to wonder if Andi's search for her life will also be the end of it.
Biting the Moon is a fast-paced and powerful novel of desperation and resourcefulness, courage and cowardice, kindness and depravity. With its twofold punch on the subjects of child welfare and animal rights, the book grabs your emotions by the throat and doesn't let go until the very end. And even then, the emotional resonance lingers long after the last page has been turned.
Beth Amos is the author of several mainstream suspense thrillers, including Second Sight, Eyes of Night, and Cold White Fury. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Meet the Author
Bestselling author Martha Grimes is the author of more than thirty books, including twenty-two Richard Jury mysteries. She is also the author of Double Double, a dual memoir of alcoholism written with her son. The winner of the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award, Grimes lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
- Washington, DC and Santa Fe, NM
- Date of Birth:
- May 2, 1931
- Place of Birth:
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- B.A., M.A., University of Maryland
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I'm so glad I decided to read this book; it has changed my life for the better. I love the characters and the issues Grimes describes in this novel. In this series, the author goes behind the scenes at a factory farm and also explores the issue of trapping animals. I so admire Andy Oliver for doing what needs to done even though it's heart-breaking to witness. Sad and cringe-worthy at times, this book was so poignant and very moving. Andy is a true heroine! I also loved Dakota by the same author. You might also enjoy the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton and the novels of Marcia Muller. The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child is also a wonderful series of books.
Belonging to a literary club-we are great at tearing books apart at our meetings where we review the books--This book I will not tear apart-I am going to think of this as a fairy tale and I enjoyed it very much-especially the rafting trip--that was well written--the book got a little disconnected in places-The only thing that did bother me--Mary-14 yrs old would have never had the insight and understanding of people at that age- an older person -yes. Very enjoyable read-hard to put down.
I prefer the Richard Jury novels...this was a little predictable and boring. Why ruin a great thing by trying something new?
This book was extremely slow. I couldn't ever get into it. It seemed like an awkward front for a PETA commercial.
I was intrigued by the description of the story on the book jacket and so purchased it. The story was just not believable to me and seemed disjointed. I was saddened by the plight of animals and people in the book and didn't feel their predicaments were resolved to my satisfaction. The only reason I finished the book is that I can't bear to leave one unfinished. I have never read Martha Grimes before and will investigate reviews before purchasing another of her books.