Through A Yellow Wood
By Carolyn J. Rose
Trying to settle down in Hemlock Lake, Dan Stone receives a request to check on Clarence Wolven, a man Dan discovers is a distant relation. When he and his friend Jefferson Longyear arrive at Wolven’s mountain cabin where he raises tracking dogs, they discover Wolven and all but one of the dogs have been murdered. On a return visit, they bring the surviving dog who leads them to a dump site containing victims of a serial killer. It’s a summer of full of suspense and death of various kinds for Dan as he finds himself involved with not only the investigation but problems relating to his past.
This story runs a time period from April through October. It’s a long story and the murder mystery is almost secondary to everything in the town. Days and weeks pass with nothing happening until another girl disappears or Dan investigates a couple suspects.
Dan Stone: suffering aftereffects of gunshot to left shoulder, parents dead, formerly of the sheriff’s department, has a brother, was married once before, lived in Flagstaff, former teacher
Camille Stone: Dan’s girlfriend, black Irish, colored hair, copper brown eyes, ex husband was a killer
Mary Louise van Valkenburg: has a passion for genealogy, runs a post office
Lou Marie van Valkenburg: Mary’s twin sister, abrasive, runs a general store, finds fault in most people
Jefferson Longyear: gray brush cut hair, tall, former Marine, deep rough voice, wears glasses, haunted by war memories but experiences memory loss from before the war
Colden Cornell: newspaper reporter, tall, early twenties, sandy brown hair, uneven mustache, spotty beard, high voice
Some good characters here with a supporting cast to add to the community atmosphere. A couple stood out but I didn’t feel a real connection to anybody. The dog helped keep things a bit lively.
Again, some characters had good voices. I think the best dialogue came when Dan, Camille and the regular ‘group’ met at the diner. Personalities came through better then.
Written in first person from Dan’s POV. This is a long involved story. This is one of those rare types of books that really require being read second after the first book with Dan Stone. There is extensive references to the past book and it’s murder mystery and reveals spoilers. However, because I hadn’t read the first book, I felt distanced from the story and it’s characters. I really didn’t ‘get into’ the story and the length of time it took for the story proceed with so much going on besides the murder didn’t excite me much. Plus, logically, there was only one person who could have been the killer because the others just didn’t fit. I suspected this particular person almost from the character’s introduction. I think there was once instance of profanity. No real graphic detail.