To help a pal, reporter Tara Martin agrees to go to the Great Smokey Mountains and track down the truth about The Beast of Bear Mountain. Unlike Tara who works for a respectable daily paper, her close friend Lisa is employed at the tabloid, Squealer.

Stuck in the remote town, Tara begins to question her sanity. According to townsfolk, there have been numerous sightings of the man/beast for the years. With her camera, Tara follows Mary Ott and her brother, Cecil, into the wilderness. After finding that Mary and Cecil are trying to pull a hoax, Tara is hurt while trying to escape them. Hindered by a severely injured ankle, Tara is terrified when she is abruptly carried off by a nearly naked man/beast.

Zane Shilohs grandfather had warned him to stay far away from people and civilization. He has been alone in the wilderness since his grandfathers death when he was a boy. His grandfathers spirit remains strong and communicates through a raven. Despite his grandfathers warnings that helping Tara could cause his own death, Zane is unable to abandon the helpless woman.

Getting over her terror, Tara realizes that the true story of the beast is far more fascinating than the myth. How has Zane survived all these years? Who is he and why would a child be left in the wilderness? Will the answers fulfill the ravens dire prophecy?

Ms. Raye always manages to add a unique twist to all her novels. This updated feral child story is both exciting and captivating. (Aug., 368 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith