Deadly Mountain Escape

Mary Alford

Harlequin Pub

January 2024

Deadly Mountain Escape by Mary Alford explores sex trafficking. This story is sadly all too relevant for today. Through the character’s eyes readers will understand all the dangers involved with rescuing these girls.

Charlotte Walker is a K-9-unit deputy that is asked by her neighbor to find her granddaughter, Lainey. As she and her canine partner, Annie, begin the search she is attacked and almost died if not for the efforts of Jonas Knowles who witnessed what happened. 

Annie is a great addition to the story.  She is brave and loyal and helped to rescue Jonas and Charlotte multiple times. 

Because they need to escape their pursuers, they go to Jonas’s brother, Abram’s farm.  Abram is Amish and agrees to accompany Lainey to the Sherriff’s office. By working together, Jonas and Charlotte as well as Lainey and Abram develop feelings for each other. 

While pursuing the sex traffickers, Jonas and Charlotte become close and decide to tell each other why they closed themselves off to any type of relationship.  But in sharing their guilt they realize they have feelings for each other. Charlotte lost her beloved fiancé after he fell to his death looking for a search and rescue victim.  Jonas feels guilty over losing his wife and future child when she had complications during the pregnancy, and he was out trapping.

The setting, a very realistic Montana mountain winter, also plays a role in the book. Readers will take the journey with the characters as they trudge through snow, becoming wet, freezing, and tired. 

This is a wonderful action-adventure suspense story with memorable characters and a plot that has several twists and surprises. The danger and suspense will keep people on the edge of their seats as they search for clues alongside Charlotte and Jonas. 

Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story in Deadly Mountain Escape?

Mary Alford: I enjoy writing stories where the hero and heroine have gone through something very dark in their past.  In this case it was both. This is the type of story I like to read. I also dealt with the subject of human trafficking because I want to shed a light on it. The next book that comes out will deal with more of that tragedy.

EC: Can you explain this book quote, “Focusing on the past is the surest way to stop moving forward?

MA:  We all have moments in our past that we dwell on them. Even with someone who was lost, people always regret not spending more time with them.  They are living in the past and missing those times in the moment that are so rewarding. I am guilty of this also. People tend to beat themselves up over something they cannot change. 

EC:  How would you describe Jonas?

MA: He is bitter.  Despite everything that has happened to him he tries hard to become a hero. He is one of those that has regrets and blames himself for losing his pregnant wife. He lost his wife and baby.  It shattered him and he left the Amish faith because of this.  He has a lot of guilt that has him keeping to himself. He is very determined and can be protective to save the other women in the story.

EC: How would you describe Charlotte?

MA: She is in law enforcement. She is strong, family oriented, and caring.  She also blames herself for losing her fiancé falling to his death.  She just focuses on her work and not on relationships. She can be angry, guilty, and confident. She is angry because her life did not turn out the way she wished.

EC:  How would you describe Lainey?

MA:  She is a typical teenager who wants to live her life with a little rebellious streak.  She is on the flighty side and immature. She is kidnapped but is very headstrong.  She falls for an Amish man who is helping her escape. 

EC:  What about the relationship between Charlotte and Jonas?

MA:  Charlotte helped him come back to life as they work together to rescue the girls. They are connected because they both lost a loved one and can relate to what each other are going through.  They bond through their grief. As the story unfolds, they end up counting on each other and protecting each other, slowly developing feelings for each other. They realize they want a future together because they are kindred spirits. 

EC:  What was the role Annie played in the book?

MA:  She is the dog that helped them throughout the search.  Annie is based on my dog named Kelly who has passed on. They both are a bluetick coonhound. She is fiercely protective and would do anything for her owner.

EC:  You also write a self-published book, Shrouded Past?

MA: This is book five of the Hope Island Securities Series. This is the first book in the series that does not feature one of the founding members team. Going forward the founding members, as in this book, will not be featured, but will be in the story assisting. 

EC:  Next book?

MA:  It is titled Ambush in the Mountains featuring Lanie and Abram.  It will deal a lot more with human trafficking. There will be another wounded warrior soldier with a woman who escaped from a human trafficking ring.  It will come out in July. 




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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.