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Interruptions Hardcover – November 2, 2004
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"Marcy James vociferously opposes a controversial proposed cross-island road to Sitka, her Alaska home. When Gavan, her 12-year-old son, and his best friend, Tim, skip school to follow a dicey government engineer into the rain forest, then steal his backpack, they cause the guy embarrassment at a subsequent excitable town meeting. The next day brings disaster: Gavan takes a hike, the engineer disappears, and Tim is murdered. Complications include a threatening letter, a nasty stranger, Marcy?s hidden wealth, and adherents of other business and/or tourist interests. A moderately involving subject matter, authentic Alaskan details, and conversational prose commend this to most collections where mysteries set in our 49th state are popular. A former newspaper reporter in Sitka, Froetschel (Alaska Grey) now lives in Connecticut."
--Library Journal (November 2004) (Library Journal 20041101)
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Gavan and Tim follow engineering consultant Dennis Kovach into the forest. While Dennis catches and lectures Gavan, Tim steals his back pack. When Marcy learns that Gavan stole the backpack, she makes Gavan return it. Dennis decides to learn what Gavan knows by taking him into the forest with Marcy's permission. Tim secretly follows, but someone serendipitously trailed the threesome and kills Tim. As Marcy is threatened and the police investigate the homicide, Gavan feels guilty and tries to uncover the identity of the murderer.
This is an intriguing amateur sleuth environmental vs. development tale that grips readers when the first confrontation on the road occurs at a town hall meeting. The story line focuses on the questionable goings on more than just the question of economic growth at what cost, but does not neglect that issue through the divided cast. Obviously since Marcy and Gavan are opposed to the construction, that side receives the stronger supporting argument. Readers who appreciate a fine who-done-it within the context of a major society issue will want to read INTERRUPTIONS, a solid environmental mystery.
Though a murder mystery, the book is not gory, nor is it fraught with detective detail and police involvement. Instead, the mystery is solved through the eyes of the real family and friends involved and who have a stake in what has happened. Overall, this makes for a compelling read, especially as the reader is confronted with creative twists.