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Posted September 4, 2012
Raine accepts a last minute job offer to work as a staff survival specialist on a 10 day hike with a group of juvenile delinquents who have been sent to the camp by their parents. The staff includes the camp rigid camp owner Paul Evans, his wife Rachel who resents everything Raine does, and Heather who evidently wants to get rid of Raine and whose presence presents questions from the start.
The purpose of the hike is to teacher the kids to think and to work as a team. Despite being told not to interfere with the "therapy" Raine can not approve of some of the tactics of the camp leaders. Conflicts about among the campers and between the campers and the staff members, and then the weather becomes the greatest enemy of all or does it. A dark secret overshadows the experience and changes everyone involve forever.
Although we only get a quick visit from most of the regulars for whom I have come to care greatly, Cisco gets to go on the hike and of course contributes his share to the story.
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Posted January 17, 2014
This is the first book by Donna Ball that I read. The book was well written and the story made sense. It kept me on the edge of my seat because of some of the dangers and the outcome was a surprise. Of course, it didn't hurt that I love dogs and enjoy reading books that dogs feature in. I have since read another of her books, am currently reading a third and have a forth waiting for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2012
Anyone who's read the Raine Stockton series, by author Donna Ball, knows how much Raine's dogs mean to her. Anyone who's been owned by a dog knows how much they mean to us. So Ball's second paragraph citing Raine's concern about the whereabouts and well-being of her beloved Golden Retriever, search and rescue dog Cisco, pulls the reader into the story. Because Raine's in a police car adds more interest to the opening paragraphs intrigue.
The Dead Season, Ball's latest in the series that follows Raine Stockton - dog trainer and search and rescue specialist - and her SAR dog Cisco is a real good read in this book.
The North Carolina mountains, where the story is set, are beautiful but hazardous in winter. Raine and Cisco have gone on many a search and rescue mission, so Raine knows and respects the wilderness. In this story, Raine is hired to teach search and rescue and survival techniques to a group of teenagers on a wilderness hike in mid-winter. The teens are residents are New Day, an Outward Bound-type of juvenile rehabilitation center. Raine is the first person to admit that she and children don't always get along but the promise of a $2,000 salary for the 10 days soon has her packing camping gear for Cisco and herself.
Paul Evans, the Director of New Day, was a man who had to be in control. He didn't accept Raine's suggestions (each person should pack their own equipment; every pack should have basic survival gear; all members of the group should stay together) and he really wasn't thrilled with Raine bringing along Cisco. When Evans falls onto a rock outcrop none of the teens want to assist Raine to get the badly injured man moved - frankly, they hope he dies there. But as the blizzard increases Raine moves him down the rock face and into a gully, sets up his tent, treats Evans' injuries, and closes him into the tent for the night. She and Cisco dive into her tent and her sleeping bag and batten down for the night.
The plot has psychology, murder and great information on survival in a blizzard. The tension mounts through an in-the-present interrogation by the police of Raine, and alternating chapters of her memory detailing the events of the 72 hours that led up to the murder of Evans.
The ending is a blockbuster! This is the best, yet, in the Raine Stockton series and not one to be missed. You don't need the prior books to enjoy this one (though you'll get the others if you haven't read them yet).
Donna Ball knows her terrain, dogs, and the psychology of people. This was a fast, can't put down until finished read.
Posted April 28, 2013
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