Alaska Mountain Rescue (K-9 Alaska Novel Book 2)
Harlequin Intrique Pub
Dec 29th, 2020
Alaska Mountain Rescue by Elizabeth Heiter is an engaging romantic suspense novel. What makes these stories stand out is the special bond between the dogs and their owners. Heiter has the uncanny ability to take a reader on a journey through the Alaskan wilderness as part of the K-9 team.
The idea for this story came about when “When I was writing K-9 Defense, I knew I wanted to write another book and put as the main protagonist, Alanna’s story. She is a fascinating character with a fascinating story. I sold the first novel as a single book, but then decided I wanted to make a series out of it. I wanted to show how, after being kidnapped at five years of age, her life was impacted. She has mixed feelings about her kidnapper mom. I wanted to explore the idea of the pull of love and loyalty versus doing what is right.”
The Alaskan setting is vibrantly developed and comes to life as a character. Navigating through the wilderness allows the story to have many twists and turns. Although this is a stand-alone, readers might want to read the first book in the series, K-9 Defense, to understand how Alanna Morgan’s life changed upside down at the age of five. She was kidnapped along with other children, where the kidnappers formed a “family.” The kidnappers were her parents and the other kidnappees were her siblings. They moved to Alaska to keep the family isolated. The first book has Alanna’s biological sister searching and finding her, reuniting her with her real family.
I chose Alaska because of its volatile nature. In the mountains there is the potential of avalanches and for people to be snowed in until spring. There are always the potential threats from the elements. I think the setting echoes what is happening in Alanna’s life. She felt isolated and that her life was in danger. There is emptiness, coldness, isolation, and can be volatile, just like Alanna felt. The remote part enables people to disappear.”
Now five years later, the kidnapped mother, Darcy, has escaped from prison and is heading back to Alaska. She is turning back to old ways, kidnapping children, to form a make-shift family. Alanna is on a collision course with the woman who stole her childhood, since she cannot let other helpless victims be abducted. Along with her therapy dog, Chance, a St. Bernard, she travels to Desparre Alaska to find Darcy. But her plans are interrupted when Peter Robak, a rookie police officer, decides her motives are not what she purports them to be and are divided. Fighting his own demons, including trying to overcome a hearing handicap, he reluctantly joins forces with Alanna to find her “mother.” The relationship builds as both realize they have common hardships.
“Because the story takes place in Alaska during a winter season, I wanted a “snow” dog. A St. Bernard has a fantastic sense of smell, a great sense of direction, and the ability to withstand extreme cold. They can scent a person under 20 feet of snow and use their enormous paws to dig them out, a scene I put in the story. Once they do, the rescue dogs lie on the person to keep them warm. Having grown up with St. Bernard’s, I can say that they love the snow and are naturally protective, too. Unfortunately, I do not have a dog now, because I moved into a neighborhood that does not allow for fences.”
This book has readers on the edge of their seats. As with her other stories, this one is no different. They feature strong heroines, chilling victims, psychological twists, intertwined with some romance.