reviewed by Barbara Saffer
Petie’s gang activity as a young teenager in California lands her in juvenile detention, where she cleans up her act and learns accounting. While Petie is locked up, her mother and sister move to Rockin, Alaska, and Petie follows them there when she’s released from jail at the age of eighteen.
In Rockin, Petie gets a job as a live-in assistant to antiquities seller Donald White, and plans to surprise her mom with her first paycheck. Unfortunately, Petie is naïve and trusting, and Donald White is a conman and killer. White frames Petie for the murder of a woman and child, then skips town and disappears.
Rockin’s crooked female police chief ensures Petie is convicted, and Petie is being transported to prison when a freak incident wrecks the convict transport bus. Petie escapes, injured and disfigured, but the outside world thinks she’s dead.
Healed and with a new face thanks to plastic surgery, Petie changes her name and gets a job at Alaska’s remote Midnight Sun Fishing Camp, run by Hawley Foggo – a large flamboyant man who pays a pittance and is willing to overlook Petie’s past. The camp is open only four months a year, but Petie lives there permanently, maintaining the facility during the winter months.
During the fishing camp’s long dark off-season, Petie takes computer classes, learns different languages, does internet research, and attempts to locate Donald White…so she can get revenge. Fortuitously, Petie’s data mining uncovers information of interest to wealthy businesswoman Jean Lee, who comes to Midnight Sun Fishing Camp every year. Lee is very grateful, and offers to help Petie with her endeavors.
After working at Midnight Sun for eight years, Petie gets news of Donald White, who’s back in Alaska. Petie is determined to get justice and clear her name, and Jean Lee provides generous assistance.
Regrettably, Petie has a couple of dangerous enemies. One is Zone Jameson, who has discovered Petie’s real identity and believes she killed his wife and son; and the other is Bradley Copeland, an egotistical former guest at Midnight Sun who has a grudge against Petie. So while Petie is hunting Donald White, Petie’s adversaries are hunting her.
The book has an interesting array of characters, including Petie’s beautiful Belorussian mother; Petie’s loving sister; a kidnapped businessman; a police chief who feeds everyone gumbo; a banker with a crush on her boss; employees of the fishing camp; and more.
Rugged Alaska provides a nice backdrop for the story, and the Midnight Sun Fishing Camp—which offers comfortable accommodations, fishing guides, wildlife sightings, gourmet meals, and an open bar—seems like a lovely vacation spot.
This is an adventurous thriller with strong female characters and plenty of twists and surprises.