Twelve-year-old Michelle Quinn is home alone. She’s angry with herself because of a fight with her dad, Gabriel, a pilot, over his not taking her on a trip to Lake Tahoe. She gets a visit from Roper Lund, a graduate student studying to become a guidance counselor, telling her that her father’s plane has crashed near Tahoe, and he’s come to take her there. Michelle wakes up a prisoner in Lund’s dungeon of death.
In the meantime, Gabriel, when he learns of his daughter’s abduction sets out to find her. He has to contend, though, with being a prime suspect himself.
This is actually two stories that proceed along parallel lines until; on the one hand we have Gabriel’s desperate efforts to find his daughter; on the other, Michelle’s decision to try and save herself after she discovers that she’s not the first occupant of the dungeon.
Sierra Girls by Richard Ewald is an edge-of-the-chair thriller/mystery that, with the exception of a few typos, has all the elements of a best-seller. The reader anxiously roots for Gabriel as he discovers just how much danger his daughter is in, and that the clock is ticking as he seeks to find and rescue her. I haven’t been twelve years old for a long time, but Ewald got me credibly into the mind of not only a twelve-year-old, but a girl at that. The parallel stories whiz along like twin roller coasters, until they finally intersect in an explosive finale that will leave you both breathless and relieved.
I received a free review copy of this book, which I predict will rise quickly in the ranks of the genre, marking Richard Ewald as an author to watch.