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July 14 , 2007

Crosses to Bear


Macduff Brooks works hard being a successful fly fishing guide in Wyoming and Montana, plays the oboe marginally, drinks too much Gentleman Jack, and struggles with relationships with women. He’s been Macduff Brooks for less than a decade and often wants to return to his earlier existence as happily married law professor Maxwell Hunt in Florida. It is not to be―his pregnant wife El died two decades ago in a horrible accident on the Snake River in Wyoming. Depressed, he was increasingly willing to accept “special work” for a federal agency, which resulted in near death from a beating in Guatemala. Saved and returned to Washington, his death from a stroke was announced and he was placed in a federal protection program with a new identity and location. As Macduff Brooks, he moves between his new homes in Montana and Florida, but cannot escape his Guatemalan assailants who increasingly doubt that he died. In the first novel, Deadly Drifts, a client was killed on Macduff’s drift boat Osprey; his cabin was rigged with bombs, not helping his relationship with Lucinda Lang, a New York investment banker who owns a ranch next to Brooks’ Montana cabin; and a dramatic final shootout occurred on the Snake.

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In this second book, Crosses to Bear, Macduff faces an attempt by someone to murder members of the Shuttle Gals, the small business of five women who shuttle guides’ vehicles and trailers from the put-in location downstream to where the boat will be taken out at the end of the day’s float. The first murder attempt may have been by Victoria Montoya, sister of a Mexican drug cartel head, who was rebuffed by the Shuttle Gals. Or it might have been by a member of PARA―People for the Annihilation of Recreational Angling. Or it could have been the action of coal or agricultural interests who wish to build a new high dam that would flood much of Paradise Valley.

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