A police inspector tracks a lunatic after a murder in a state park
A party of backpackers hikes along the silver strand of the river, in awe of the overwhelming beauty of King’s Canyon. They are amateur hikers, coworkers at a chemical lab who came from Fresno to heed the call of the wild. They have endured blisters, bug bites, and sunburn, but no discomfort can prepare them for what comes next. The peaceful silence of nature is shattered by a shotgun blast. When the echoes fade, there is a dead man in the canyon.
There are no roads into the park, so Inspector Omar Collins flies in via helicopter. Tracking a killer on 3,000 square miles of parkland is impossible, but what if he’s closer than Collins realizes? The murderer could be a madman or a genius. Either way, his bloody work isn’t done. . . .
About the author
Ellery Queen was a pen name created and shared by two cousins, Frederic Dannay (1905–1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905–1971), as well as the name of their most famous detective. Born in Brooklyn, they spent forty-two years writing, editing, and anthologizing under the name, gaining a reputation as the foremost American authors of the Golden Age “fair play” mystery.
Although eventually famous on television and radio, Queen’s first appearance came in 1928, when the cousins won a mystery-writing contest with the book that was later published as The Roman Hat Mystery. Their character was an amateur detective who uses his spare time to assist his police inspector uncle in solving baffling crimes. Besides writing the Queen novels, Dannay and Lee cofounded Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, one of the most influential crime publications of all time. Although Dannay outlived his cousin by nine years, he retired Queen upon Lee’s death.
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