Tally Nowata, a search and rescue ranger in the Tetons, takes a much-deserved vacation to the Australian Outback with longtime love Paul O'Malley. The vacation goes as planned, right down to the point where Paul sets off to pick up his young daughter Josie. Eighteen days go by and Paul doesn't come back, leaving Tally in the outback with very little water. She does the only sensible thing: she sets out to find Paul.

The trek is long and harrowing but she eventually finds him, in his jeep, a bullet through his head. Miraculously, Josie is alive, but barely. Tally is in a state of shock. Why would anyone want to murder Paul? Still, she has her own life and Josie's to think of. With only a little water and a long trek, Tally and Josie set out for civilization, hoping to avoid the natural terrors of the outback as well as some unnatural killers.

Tense and totally involving, LEAVE NO TRACE reads like a true story. Tally's adventure is so perilous, the dangers so skillfully depicted, it's as if we're living them with her. This is a one-of-a-kind reading experience. (Jun., 388 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg