Thursday, July 17, 2008

REVIEW: Cry Last Heard

Title: Cry Last Heard
Author: Hannah Nyala
Protagonist: Search and Rescue member, Tally Nowata
Setting: present-day Grand Tetons, Wyoming
Series: #2
Rating: C+

First Line: They don't tell you the 10 codes will save your life, though they will: 10-4, Acknowledge. 10-18, Backup Required. 10-24, Constant Monitoring.

Three years after returning from the Tanami Desert in Australia where her lover was murdered, Tally Nowata is still grieving. So much so that she's managed to push away almost every friend she has in her Search and Rescue (SAR) team. A call brings her and fellow SAR member Laney Greer out in harsh winter conditions to rescue stranded climbers off the side of a mountain, but tragedy strikes and Tally soon realizes that someone is out to get her. When her daughter is kidnapped, Tally is drawn deeper into the mountain snows in an effort to rescue her daughter and herself.

I absolutely loved Leave No Trace, to which this is a follow-up. Dodging killers and trying to survive in the Australian Outback made me a fan of Tally's. Nyala is SAR herself, and the experience she brought to the book made the pages fly for me. Unfortunately, Cry Last Heard was a disappointment. Tally is sunk so far into grief and self-pity that she loses any empathy a reader might have for her. I just wanted to shake her silly. The only thing that rescued the book for me was Nyala's experience in climbing and tracking. She brought the landscape to life--enough that I know I want to stay far away from the Grand Tetons in the winter.

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