The New York Times
The Signalby Ron Carlson, Christina Moore, T. Ryder Smith
"Hiking on their tenth annual trip, Mack and his wife, Vonnie, find the magnificent woods and stunning mountains of Wyoming full of ghosts and danger. Mack comes from a long line of ranchers, and his dedication to keeping the family land has led him into penury and a life of crime. Vonnie is a fiercely intelligent, headstrong girl who came west for love, only to… See more details below
"Hiking on their tenth annual trip, Mack and his wife, Vonnie, find the magnificent woods and stunning mountains of Wyoming full of ghosts and danger. Mack comes from a long line of ranchers, and his dedication to keeping the family land has led him into penury and a life of crime. Vonnie is a fiercely intelligent, headstrong girl who came west for love, only to have it stolen from her bit by bit." "They've made this trip to say goodbye to each other, but as they navigate the trails they know so well, they come to understand the true nature of their wounds. And Mack has one more secret: he is trying to receive a signal and retrieve something that has fallen from the sky. It is a beacon that will lead them into a wood far darker than they've ever imagined." Ron Carlson's stories and novels have connected with readers in profound and often deeply emotional ways. This thrilling, masterfully portrayed story of love and peril is sure to win legions of new fans.
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The dense Wind River Mountains of western Wyoming is where Carlson (Five Skies) sets his brooding latest, a tale of expired love and desperate measures. Mack, son of a longtime rancher, has made many missteps in life, culminating in a recent stint in jail where "he'd rusted like an old post when the weather turned." While he's in jail, his recently ex-wife Vonnie agrees to join him one last time on their annual ritual of backpacking through the Wyoming wilderness to fish, camp and rediscover each other. Mack, though, has a hidden motive: a friend/technical genius has hired him to retrieve a valuable drone that's crash-landed in the forest. Carlson describes the couple's six days wandering the wooded terrain in delicate, measured prose, careful to miss neither the lush scenery nor the incrementally amplified tension as Mack edges closer to his prize and shady characters from the past appear. Carlson has produced a work of masterful fiction, combining the sad inevitability of a doomed relationship with sheer nail-biting suspense. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
As in his wonderful Five Skies, Carlson again offers readers a broken man endeavoring to heal himself through nature. Following his dad's sudden death, Mack, who comes from a long line of Wyoming ranchers, takes to muling drugs to raise fast cash to save the family homestead. Add months of constant drinking and a fling with an even more damaged woman, and Mack finds himself despondent, divorced, and jailed. Free again, he convinces ex-wife Vonnie to come on one final fishing trip high in the mountains they both love. For him, it's both an attempt to win her back and a secret, high-paying job to locate a classified government object that fell from a military plane. Vonnie simply wants closure and a last good-bye. Their plans evaporate when they encounter something more nefarious in the deep, silent, engulfing forest than anything they'd faced before. VERDICT This character-driven story unfurls slowly through dialog, exposition, and flashbacks. Simple, taut, and elegant, it's a beautifully told tale of love and redemption that all readers will appreciate.Mike Rogers, LJX/LJ
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