Popular in his native England and in the U.S. as an author of suspense fiction and historical nonfiction, Innes's 27th book is a swift, bravura story. The rousing adventure is narrated by Philip Redfern, an English solicitor whose wealthy client, Tom Halliday, disappears after changing his will. Redfern joins Miriam, Halliday's second wife, in Klondike country, the site of the gold mine Tom inherited from his father. The fate of a majestic stand of cedar trees, bequeathed to Miriam's stepson Brian, is also an element in the plot. Brian tells about the curse pronounced by an ancient Indian, damning anyone who destroys the trees. Tom eventually is located but later murdered, presumably because a crew is decimating the cedar stand, and Miriam is abducted. Rescuing Miriam, Redfern escapes with her and meets U.S. agents, looking for cocaine stashed in the wilderness, awaiting shipment throughout the country. Innes appeals strongly to the reader with his forceful arguments against the destruction of natural resources, including human beings.(September)
English solicitor Philip Redfern learns that his client, millionaire playboy Tom Halliday, has disappeared soon after changing his will. Miriam Halliday seems convinced that her husband's disappearance is connected with his timber and mining interests in western Canada. Then Halliday's son reveals the existence of a curse on anyone interfering with the growth of the ``high stand'' of prime red cedar trees planted there by an earlier Halliday. Miriam flies to Canada in search of Tom, and Redfern eventually follows, tracking them along a trail that leads from the Yukon to Alaska and back into the Canadian wilderness for a violent confrontation with smugglers. Though the wilderness settings overshadow the action, this is another solid adventure tale from the prolific Innes. William C. McCully, Park Ridge P.L., Ill.