CAPE PERDIDO

Author(s): 
In another departure from her Sharon McCone series, Muller takes readers to an isolated town in northern California that has seen better days. Once a logging community, Cape Perdido now gets by on tourism, thanks to its pristine wilderness. The locals hope that the former mill's owner, Timothy McNear, will donate his land to the state for a park. But instead he concocts a business plan that will ruin the river and the coastline.

Jessie and Fitch, troubleshooters from a New York-based environmental watchdog group, are in town to help the locals in their fight against the company. But as Timothy struggles with his demons and reasons for selling, an old murder mystery comes to the forefront again.

As always, the author sets the stage and then fleshes out all of her characters and her story. Several locals are obviously not who or what they seem. Timothy is a sad old man, while Jessie and Fitch, at loggerheads most of the time, are good protagonists. The setting is very much a part of the story, and Muller deftly paints a picture of the beautiful and unspoiled wilderness. (Jul., 305 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly