BOOK REVIEW: DEAD TIME
Dead Time opens at the Grand Canyon where a group of hikers are preparing for the hike out. The Canyon is in the midst of an extreme heat wave, so the group is anxious to get an early start before the sun is over the canyon wall. Another hiker the group had met briefly the previous evening comes up to them just as they were leaving to ask if any of them had seen his companion. She got up during the night and never returned to the tent. While everyone tries to reassure the guy that she'll turn up, some in the party are uneasy about the girl's fate. Before they had hiked very far, three of the six in the group decide to turn around and help with the search. That decision forever split the group. Although years later some of them remained friends, the friendships are clearly divided into two groups.
Dead Time is an interesting entry in White's Alan Gregory series. For the most part, Gregory's usual supporting cast is absent. His wife and daughter are in Europe, his newly acquired son is visiting his mother's relatives in New York. His best friend, Sam, is serving a suspension from the police department and is trying to work out some personal issues. All of this leaves Alan alone and at loose ends. But not for long. Alan's ex wife Meredith asks Alan for help in locating a young woman. As fate would have it, one of the possible leads in her case causes Alan to become involved with the group of hikers from the Grand Canyon.
Carmel, one of the girls on the hiking trip, is the daughter of Alan's friends. When Alan first approaches the parents wanting to speak with Carmel, they are hesitant, but finally decide that talking with Alan might help her sort out some of her angst. When Alan flies to California to meet with Carmel, he becomes involved with much more than just helping Meredith or Carmel. Meredith has also hired Sam to do some investigating so eventually, Sam and Alan's efforts are joined.
Through flashbacks, readers are given parts of the canyon trip story, giving us hints and allowing us to try to figure out what really happened and how those facts figure into Meredith's current dilemma.
REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR
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