Title: Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In captivating prose, Diane Les Becquets tells the story of one woman missing in the Colorado wilderness and another bent on discovering the missing woman’s whereabouts, in an unforgettably moving and thrilling literary debut.
It is the last weekend of the season for Amy Raye Latour to get away. Driven to spend days alone in the wilderness, Amy Raye, mother of two, is compelled by the quiet and the rush of nature. But this time, her venture into a remote area presents a different set of dangers than Amy Raye has planned for and she finds herself on the verge of the precarious edge that she’s flirted with her entire life.
When Amy Raye doesn’t return to camp, ranger Pru Hathaway and her dog respond to the missing person’s call. After an unexpected snowfall and few leads, the operation turns into a search and recovery. Pru, though, is not resigned to that. The more she learns about the woman for whom she is searching, and about Amy Raye’s past, the more she suspects that Amy Raye might yet be alive. Pru’s own search becomes an obsession for a woman whose life is just as mysterious as the clues she has left behind.
As the novel follows Amy Raye and Pru in alternating threads, Breaking Wild assumes the white-knuckled pace of a thriller laying bare Amy Raye’s ultimate reckoning with the secrets of her life, and Pru’s dogged pursuit of the woman who, against all odds, she believes she can find.
Diane Les Becquets’ Breaking Wild is a suspense-laden novel of survival and redemption. This compelling story unfolds from the alternating perspectives of lost hunter Amy Raye Latour and Bureau of Land Management Ranger Pru Hathaway and it is impossible to put down as the search for Amy Raye thunders to a thrilling conclusion.
During a weekend hunting trip, Amy Raye sets out on to bag an elk with nothing but a bow and arrow and a limited amount of supplies. While tracking the injured elk, the weather turns treacherous and Amy Raye quickly loses her bearings once darkness falls. With dogged determination, she continues trying to return to safety until a devastating injury leaves her stranded in a secluded cave where she soon faces frigid temperatures, numerous snowstorms and wild animals.
Pru and her search and rescue dog Kona are quickly called in to look for Amy Raye but deteriorating weather conditions soon hamper the team’s rescue efforts. Recovering numerous clues during the search, local Sheriff Colm McCormac tries to determine what happened to Amy Raye. Unlike the other members of the search, Pru is not convinced that Amy Rae is dead and over the next several weeks, she continues looking for her on her own.
Amy Raye is an experienced outdoorswoman with a strong sense of survival. Battling the elements, she knows the steps to take to keep herself alive and she remains hopeful she will find her way back to civilization. With nothing but time on her hands, Amy Raye becomes quite introspective as she reflects on the mistakes of her past and her somewhat troubled marriage.
Pru also has a bit of tragic past but she has forged a successful life for herself and her teenage son, Joseph. She is a rather solitary person and while she does not date, she and Colm are good friends. Although the official search for Amy Raye has been called off, Pru cannot forget the lost woman and she continues to pore over evidence while still hunting for her. Discovering new information, she expands her search area but Pru is frustrated by her inability to locate Amy Raye.
Beautifully rendered and impeccably researched, Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets is a magnificent story of inner strength, survival and ultimately, a journey of healing and self discovery. This well-written novel has an engaging storyline and a cast of multi-faceted, sympathetic characters. A riveting read that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.