Termination Dust (Jessie Arnold Series #2)

Overview

With her award-winning debut novel, Muder On Iditarod Trail, Sue Henry established herself as one of the most celebrated new mystery writers. In Termination Dust, her much-anticipated second Alex Jensen mystery, Sue Henry again seizes the rich history of Alaska and Canada's forgotten frontiers and delivers a fast-paced mystery with one of the most adventurous and charming detectives around.

The virgin landscape along the Yukon River has hardly changed since the gold rush began ...

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Overview

With her award-winning debut novel, Muder On Iditarod Trail, Sue Henry established herself as one of the most celebrated new mystery writers. In Termination Dust, her much-anticipated second Alex Jensen mystery, Sue Henry again seizes the rich history of Alaska and Canada's forgotten frontiers and delivers a fast-paced mystery with one of the most adventurous and charming detectives around.

The virgin landscape along the Yukon River has hardly changed since the gold rush began in 1897. Frostbiting winds slice the rugged terrain, and, like a shroud, the first dusting of snow covers the low hills. Braving thick snow on the Top of the World Highway—where one slip could mean a fall down thousands a cold-blooded killer. His only witness is Jim Hampton, a rugged canoeist whose vacation has abruptly ended. And Jensen's only clue is an 1898 journal—detailing an eerily similar murder—that Hampton discovered on the killer's path.

Set against nature's most beautiful, yet cruelest, elements, Termination Dust weaves together legend and reality in a tremendous display of imaginative talent and storytelling prowess.

With her award-winning debut novel, Murder on the Iditarod Trail, Sue Henry established herself as one of the most celebrated new mystery writers. In Termination Dust, her much-anticipated second Alex Jensen mystery, Sue Henry again seizes the rich history of Alaska and Canada's forgotten frontiers and delivers a fast-paced mystery with one of the most adventurous and charming detectives around.

The virgin landscape along the Yukon River has hardly changed since the gold rush began in 1897.Frostbiting winds slice the rugged terrain, and, like a shroud, the first dusting of snow covers the low hills. Braving thick snow on the Top of the World Highway—where one slip could mean a fall down thousands a cold-blooded killer. His only witness is Jim Hampton, a rugged canoeist whose vacation has abruptly ended. And Jensen's only clue is an 1898 journal—detailing an eerily similar murder—that Hampton discovered on the killer's path.

Set against nature's most beautiful, yet cruelest, elements, Termination Dust weaves together legend and reality in a tremendous display of imaginative talent and storytelling prowess.

Jim Hampton's Yukon vacation takes a turn for the worse when he discovers a prospector's diary from the 1800s. And it dies when he is arrested for the slaying of a controversial ex-Senator. But Alex Jensen isn't convinced of his guilt. And the dedicated state trooper is ready to track down the bitter truth. The follow-up to Murder on the Iditarod Trail.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Overplotted and tamer than Henry's award-winning Murder on the Iditarod Trail, this sequel takes its title from the Alaska Gold Rush, when ``termination dust'' meant the first snowfall of the season, signaling the end of the year's prospecting. Alaska state trooper Alex Jensen is in Canada working with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Charles ``Del'' Delafosse when a retired Alaskan senator Warren Russell is found murdered. Not far off, the police come across Colorado canoeist Jim Hampton, who appears hungover and dazed but denies shooting Russell and insists that he himself was attacked by two others who stole his gear, which has been mysteriously returned, along with a skull and some old bones Hampton had discovered upriver. As Del investigates the murder, Jensen reads the Gold Rush journal Hampton found near the bones. Henry crosscuts the account of the murder investigation with entries from the journal, which is offered in full at the end of the novel. The two plot threads remain tenuously connected, despite the Yukon blizzard that occurs in each. (May)
Library Journal
Sgt. Alex Jensen Arnold (Murder on the Iditarod Trail, LJ 4/1/91) makes an encore appearance. Although damning circumstantial evidence fingers visiting canoeist Jim Hampton as the murderer of an ex-politician fisherman, Jensen intuits the truth of Hampton's story. As the investigation continues, bringing furtive assault and theft, both men become involved in a journal Hampton discovered dealing with the 1897 Yukon gold rush. Pristine scenery, in-depth characterization, and the historical sideline should duplicate the success of Henry's first.
From Barnes & Noble
Braving the snow on the Top of the World Highway, where one slip could mean a fall down thousands of feet, Detective Alex Jensen is hunting a cold-blooded killer through the Yukon. His only clue is a journal detailing an eerily similar murder that occurred in 1898.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380724062
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Series: Jessie Arnold Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Henry, whose award-winning Alaska mysteries have received the highest praise from readers and critics alike, has lived in Alaska for almost thirty years, and brings history, Alaskan lore, and the majestic beauty of the vast landscape to her mysteries. Based in Anchorage, she is currently at work on the next book in this series.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Late-afternoon shadows reached like fingers from the black spruce along the shore, darkening the smooth waters of a wide bend in the Yukon River. Undisturbed by rapids at this particular point, north of Dawson, Yukon Territory, the surface reflected a swirl of colors from surrounding evergreen, autumn-bronzed birch, and the faded-blue, pre-sunset sky. The raucous cry of a jay knifed through the air, turning the head of a bald eagle perched on a dead limb, waiting, patiently, silent, for a squirrel to emerge from its nearby hole. A dragonfly darted in Zs over the surface of the water, well above the reach of any ambitious fish.

A small, rhythmic splashing drew the eagle's attention once again from its objective, this time upriver of the south to north curve of dark water. Out of the shadows and into a last remaining streak of sunlight floated a red canoe with a single passenger, drifting with the current.

Raising a hand, the paddler shaded his eyes from the late glare of the sun, sighting ahead to make out the narrow line of a thin sandbar coming into view on the right. Protected by the bar was a bit of flat, pebble-strewn beach that looked just wide enough for a campsite. A trickle of a stream ran over it into the river, complaining quietly to the unevenness of its bed.

A strong, expert pull on the paddle corrected the direction of the canoe and sent it gliding toward the rind of beach. When the bottom grated gently on small stones, the canoeist did not move for a minute, but laid the paddle across the gunwales and leaned forward on his braced arms, assessing this choice. Judging it acceptable, he rose, stepped out, andcarefully lifted the craft far enough from the river so there was no chance of its floating away without him.

Removing a floppy-brimmed mimed hat and clasping a wrist behind his head with the opposite hand, Jim Hampton stretched to relieve the tension in his strong, muscular shoulders and arms, then ran a hand through the sandcolored waves of his hair and yawned. Pleasantly tired, he was pleased with his progress and appreciative of the wilderness he was discovering. It had been a good day of travel on this unfamiliar river.

Just under six feet tall, he was fit and even-featured, though his hair was beginning to recede slightly from his temples and a few gray strands silvered it. This secretly satisfied him, for through most of his thirties he had been embarrassed to appear younger than he really was. With the slight widening of his forehead and touch of gray, he knew he looked more his age and that it was not unbecoming. Even the creases developing around his eyes were not unwelcome, for they hinted at laughter and hours of looking over the glare of sun-bright waters.

Canoeing the headwaters of the Yukon River, gold-rush country, was a thing he had wanted to do for years. Working construction in the Denver area left him little extra time during the summer season, but this year he had taken it anyway. Late in August he had loaded the canoe in his truck and driven the long road north to Whitehorse. There he had left the canoe, driven three hundred and twentyseven miles to Dawson, parked the truck, and caught a return ride with a trucker. Then for a week he had paddled the winding course of the river and the lakes it passed through, back to the famous gold-rush community.

When he learned that only two more days would take him as far as the Forty-Mile River and the termination of a scrap of road at the old settlement of Clinton Creek, he couldn't resist seeing more of a country with which he was rapidly falling in love. Arranging to be picked up

there by a Dawson resident who knew the area, he extended his trip. Though it was late in the season, the Top of the World Highway would be open until it snowed, usually later in September or even early October. It ran over a pass as high as four thousand feet along a crest of the mountains between Alaska and the Yukon Territory, and the spectacular scenery alone would be worth the effort.

This night he was exceptionally glad he had yielded to impulse. The day had been gloriously sunny with a cool reminder of fall in the air, and the Yukon had changed character with the influx of several rivers and streams that broadened and added a deep feeling of power to its heavy waters. Though it was nowhere near the mighty, milewide Yukon it would become by the time it neared the coast of Alaska on its fifteen-hundred-mile ran, it had already gained authority and the spirit of a major waterway.

Half a day in the town of Dawson, with its gold-rush atmosphere, gambling casinos, and dance-hall girls, had been amusing and interesting historically. It had also allowed him to add a few fresh groceries to his supplies, but it was good to be back on the river. He loved being alone on a new river more than any activity he could imagine. In the previous ten years he had been on many in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, but in this first trip on northern waters he found deep satisfaction from his own pleasure in it.

Swinging around to look back toward the river, he was just in time to watch the eagle launch itself in a deadly silent dive that ended with the faint shrill of the squirrel; dinner, deftly caught and clutched in razor talons as the raptor glided away into the trees. Turning back to the canoe, Hampton began to unload his gear. With little more than an hour of daylight left, he knew he would have to work steadily to have his camp organized as he wanted it and firewood collected before dark. His own dinner would be appreciated, though he had no intention of catching it.

With a little steel wool, twigs and dry grass for kindling, and a few splinters of driftwood, he quickly lit a small fire in a circle of rounded river rocks. Carefully...

Termination Dust. Copyright © by Sue Henry. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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First Chapter

Termination Dust

Chapter One

Late-afternoon shadows reached like fingers from the black spruce along the shore, darkening the smooth waters of a wide bend in the Yukon River. Undisturbed by rapids at this particular point, north of Dawson, Yukon Territory, the surface reflected a swirl of colors from surrounding evergreen, autumn-bronzed birch, and the faded-blue, pre-sunset sky. The raucous cry of a jay knifed through the air, turning the head of a bald eagle perched on a dead limb, waiting, patiently, silent, for a squirrel to emerge from its nearby hole. A dragonfly darted in Zs over the surface of the water, well above the reach of any ambitious fish.

A small, rhythmic splashing drew the eagle's attention once again from its objective, this time upriver of the south to north curve of dark water. Out of the shadows and into a last remaining streak of sunlight floated a red canoe with a single passenger, drifting with the current.

Raising a hand, the paddler shaded his eyes from the late glare of the sun, sighting ahead to make out the narrow line of a thin sandbar coming into view on the right. Protected by the bar was a bit of flat, pebble-strewn beach that looked just wide enough for a campsite. A trickle of a stream ran over it into the river, complaining quietly to the unevenness of its bed.

A strong, expert pull on the paddle corrected the direction of the canoe and sent it gliding toward the rind of beach. When the bottom grated gently on small stones, the canoeist did not move for a minute, but laid the paddle across the gunwales and leaned forward on his braced arms, assessing this choice. Judging it acceptable, he rose, stepped out,and carefully lifted the craft far enough from the river so there was no chance of its floating away without him.

Removing a floppy-brimmed mimed hat and clasping a wrist behind his head with the opposite hand, Jim Hampton stretched to relieve the tension in his strong, muscular shoulders and arms, then ran a hand through the sandcolored waves of his hair and yawned. Pleasantly tired, he was pleased with his progress and appreciative of the wilderness he was discovering. It had been a good day of travel on this unfamiliar river.

Just under six feet tall, he was fit and even-featured, though his hair was beginning to recede slightly from his temples and a few gray strands silvered it. This secretly satisfied him, for through most of his thirties he had been embarrassed to appear younger than he really was. With the slight widening of his forehead and touch of gray, he knew he looked more his age and that it was not unbecoming. Even the creases developing around his eyes were not unwelcome, for they hinted at laughter and hours of looking over the glare of sun-bright waters.

Canoeing the headwaters of the Yukon River, gold-rush country, was a thing he had wanted to do for years. Working construction in the Denver area left him little extra time during the summer season, but this year he had taken it anyway. Late in August he had loaded the canoe in his truck and driven the long road north to Whitehorse. There he had left the canoe, driven three hundred and twentyseven miles to Dawson, parked the truck, and caught a return ride with a trucker. Then for a week he had paddled the winding course of the river and the lakes it passed through, back to the famous gold-rush community.

When he learned that only two more days would take him as far as the Forty-Mile River and the termination of a scrap of road at the old settlement of Clinton Creek, he couldn't resist seeing more of a country with which he was rapidly falling in love. Arranging to be picked up

there by a Dawson resident who knew the area, he extended his trip. Though it was late in the season, the Top of the World Highway would be open until it snowed, usually later in September or even early October. It ran over a pass as high as four thousand feet along a crest of the mountains between Alaska and the Yukon Territory, and the spectacular scenery alone would be worth the effort.

This night he was exceptionally glad he had yielded to impulse. The day had been gloriously sunny with a cool reminder of fall in the air, and the Yukon had changed character with the influx of several rivers and streams that broadened and added a deep feeling of power to its heavy waters. Though it was nowhere near the mighty, milewide Yukon it would become by the time it neared the coast of Alaska on its fifteen-hundred-mile ran, it had already gained authority and the spirit of a major waterway.

Half a day in the town of Dawson, with its gold-rush atmosphere, gambling casinos, and dance-hall girls, had been amusing and interesting historically. It had also allowed him to add a few fresh groceries to his supplies, but it was good to be back on the river. He loved being alone on a new river more than any activity he could imagine. In the previous ten years he had been on many in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, but in this first trip on northern waters he found deep satisfaction from his own pleasure in it.

Swinging around to look back toward the river, he was just in time to watch the eagle launch itself in a deadly silent dive that ended with the faint shrill of the squirrel; dinner, deftly caught and clutched in razor talons as the raptor glided away into the trees. Turning back to the canoe, Hampton began to unload his gear. With little more than an hour of daylight left, he knew he would have to work steadily to have his camp organized as he wanted it and firewood collected before dark. His own dinner would be appreciated, though he had no intention of catching it.

With a little steel wool, twigs and dry grass for kindling, and a few splinters of driftwood, he quickly lit a small fire in a circle of rounded river rocks. Carefully...

Termination Dust. Copyright © by Sue Henry. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Nice book . . . but not as expected.

    The book is in very good condition but was listed as "hard back". In fact it's not much better than a paper back.
    I'm a little disappointed but will still enjoy Ms Henry's novel.
    Quick shipping!

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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