It’s the rugged Monastery Valley of Montana. High on the cliff called the Coliseum stands a man, deciding whether to live or die. In the valley below, Grace Ellonson, fourteen, will be abandoned by her mother. Where has Grace’s mother gone, and why has she left her daughter behind? A rancher will be seduced into a racist and anti-government conspiracy—who’s leading the conspiracy and what are his plans? Depressed psychologist Ed Northrup and Monastery Valley newcomer deputy sheriff Andi Pelton struggle to unravel these mysteries before they explode in a violent collision. And amid the chaos, Ed, Andi, and Grace must face the most formidable decision of their lives.
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I loved this book!!! After a gripping and intense Prelude, the pace never let up. Like an intricately patterned tapestry takes shape on a loom, the various character threads wove tightly together, now one color, now another. Every time I thought I'd be coming to a break spot, there would be a new plot twist and I just had to keep on reading. While this shorter version of the longer story is undoubtedly more readable, I’m sorry I have to wait for the next installments because now I just want more, more, more! Likeable characters, people it's easy to care about. I found much of the third section, when the relationship between Ed and Grace really started taking shape, to be very moving and was brought to tears more than once! The author’s love of the mountains shone through every time he described them through Ed's eyes. I became so involved with the story and the characters that I read through it much too quickly - but that's OK, I'm now looking forward to a little slower reread to savor it more! Maybe, by then, part two will be out as well!