Finalist for the 2006 Mary Higgins Clark Award


On an assignment, nature photographer MacKenzie Morgan and her daughter Isabella notice a man on horseback near their campsite in the deep woods. They aren't alarmed, but they should be. He beats Mac, leaves her for dead and kidnaps Bella.

When Mac is able to save herself and get help, the police are initially suspicious, her ex-husband is furious with her and the search and rescue tracker in charge of the search, Caleb Howell, doesn't want her going along. Mac defies them all by hanging in as the search drags on for days over rough terrain and through inclement weather, despite her injuries. She'll do anything to learn what really happened—and to save Bella.

Hunter keeps the story moving at such a breakneck pace that it's hard to put this book down. Gritty and occasionally violent, it often finds relief through humour and the romance developing between Mac and Caleb.


Exhilarating Suspense Thriller
, Five Stars
While waiting for her divorce to be finalized from her cheating spouse, Mackenzie Morgan and her teenage daughter Bella take photographs of an abandoned fishery in an isolated part of the Appalachians. However, their solitude is disturbed when geologist Dell Shirley arrives on a horse accompanied by two dogs. Dell ties up Mac expecting her to die and abducts Bella.

Refusing to sit idly by while her daughter is in trouble, Mac treks four miles although still tied up until she reaches a ranger. The police begin a search and rescue led by volunteer tracker Caleb Howell while Bella's dad Marlowe blames Mac and acts as the caring concerned father and martyr with the media. However, the seemingly random kidnapping runs closer to home as truths begin to surface, but the chances of Bella surviving her ordeal get slimmer by the second.

This exhilarating suspense thriller with a romantic subplot that rightfully takes a back seat to the abduction will elate fans as the action never slows down until the final altercation. Fans will admire the courageous "superwoman" who is a lioness out to save her cub; on the other hand readers will hiss at her unsympathetic spouse who brings his latest bimbo to the Appalachians. The final twist will surprise the audience, but seems right as Gwen Hunter writes a tense search and hopefully rescue tale.

—Harriet Klausner

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