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Slow Curve on the Coquihalla: A Hunter Rayne highway mystery (Volume 1) Paperback – June 15, 2012
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"highly recommended" - Midwest Book Review
... the world of long-distance truckers remains closed to most of us. Not so for R. E. Donald. She and her late husband spent decades in the transportation industry. This mystery novel, Slow Curve on the Coquihalla, uses that experience wonderfully well.
This book is filled with details of what life is really like for long-haulers and the people who love them. It's tough enough for a guy who isn't sure about reading mysteries; and satisfying for any mystery fan who loves convoluted plots. - Sharon Wildwind, Story Circle Book Reviews
From the Author
This is the first novel in my Hunter Rayne highway mystery series. I wanted to write about a world I knew, and the kind of mystery that I most enjoyed as a reader. In the '90s, I was a big fan of mystery writers Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes. I especially enjoyed Grimes' Richard Jury series, and used it as a rough model for my new series, with the major difference being that the highway mystery settings and characters are uniquely North American.
I hope you enjoy reading about Hunter Rayne and his cast of supporting characters as much as I enjoy writing about them.
R.E. (Ruth) Donald
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The author rushed the ending, left too many strings dangling, and it was extremely frustrating. I do not like it when I take time out of my day to anticipate reading a good book, only to be left with a rushed and choppy ending. And the overuse of th F- bomb did nothing to enhance my reading.
I guess what disturbed me the most was the way the daughter so quickly - Spoiler Alert! accepted the news about her spouse and even knowing what happened, still wanted her children to be a part of his life!! Hello! This was not believable when all she did was grieve about her father throughout the whole book. I understood her need to grieve, and for that very reason, it was not believable that she would even entertain the very idea of them being in his life. If writing a book that includes loss of a,loved one, then please be authentic all the way through the book.
Canadian writer R.E. (Ruth) Donald writes about what she knows firsthand and her writing style reflects her deep knowledge of the trucking world. Authorative polished writing, solid, well-crafted characters, great plot twists, pacing, and, of course, the prerequisite dangling red herrings. (Though I did guess who the murderer was, I still had doubts).
The protagonist, former Sgt. Hunter Rayne, a retired ex-Mountie-cum-trucker, reminds me of Canadian TV detective DaVinci, of DaVinci's Inquest--but he's more soulful, and self-reflective.
A complex, poetic character, Hunter, a lawman who retired after his RCMP partner committed suicide, and took to the open road as big-rig trucker. Hunter's still a detective at heart. When his friend is murdered, Hunter lives up to his moniker, and doggedly persues his elusive quarry, thus proving that the Mountie always gets his man. Indeed, old habits die hard: you can take the man out of the Mountie but you can't take the Mountie out of the man.
Alas, one reviewer thought the book was slow, another said it was over-written. Not at all. I suspect those readers haven't read anything challenging in a while, if ever. Not that this is a challenging book: Douglas doesn't insult the reader's intellect.
Bonus points for the lyrical prosaic passages--it's a love poem--a paeon to the Pacific Northwest. From the first paragraph, I was hooked: "Somewhere between him and the horizon, beneath the scalloped rows of gilt-edged clouds, the port city of Vancouver mushroomed along the shores of Burrard Inlet, her sharp edged buildings sprouted against the looming shadows of the Coast mountains." Or "His fingers played a scale on the steering wheel." (When I was young, I hitchedhiked those gorgeous roads). Douglas's writing style is a breath of fresh air.
I've not been compelled to give a five-star review for most of the free Kindle Edition ebooks I've read, but this one deserves it. And more. Douglas revitalizes the Kindle murder mystery genre. Kudus on your first book! You're rockin' it. Can't wait to meet Hunter Rayne again in Ice on the Grapevine.
Hunter Rayne, the main character, is a retired RCMP officer who now drives semi rigs to make his living. When an old friend goes missing and is found two days later, dead in the cab of his wrecked truck with no evidence of foul play, the police want to write it off as an accident. But the man’s daughter, wanting to know for sure, asks Hunter to find the truth.
The story and characters were interesting but the ending I thought was a little weak. The crime that motivated the murder, while believable, didn’t seem strong or serious enough to warrant killing. Also, the author never shared with the readers the clues Hunter followed to lead him to the guilty party. Even though I suspected whodunit earlier in the book, when it was revealed, I couldn’t help asking, “How did you know?”
This Kindle download was one of the most error-free I’ve ever had – better even than some paper books.
I liked this book enough that I wouldn’t mind reading more in the series but the weak ending prohibited giving it 4 stars. 3½ would be more accurate.