by Daniel Phalen

Rose Doolittle has her first romance with a boy whose sleuthing talents and wits match her own.

Gabriel Larkin is tall and fit, at eighteen a champion rifle marksman whose exploits Rose observes while vacationing in Seattle with Poppa. Rose and Gabe are immediately attracted to each other, but romance has barely flickered when they are pitched into a survive-or-die existence in the Olympic Peninsula rain forest, where the hunted hide from the world, and rumors of Bigfoot are still alive.

Gabriel Larkin is marked for death because he witnessed the abduction of a prominent European diplomat who was later found murdered. Gabe can deal with danger at every turn, but he can't expose Rose to the same risks, and so he spurns her love.

Angered by her first rejection, Rose seeks solace in the woods, where she encounters the Dark Hunter, Morlen, who has followed her since she first met Noh-nah at age eleven.

To do battle with Morlen, Rose calls upon all her past Indian ghosts, but encroaching adulthood undermines her child's blind trust in spirit power. When her bear charm fails to work and she slips subtly under Morlen's influence, Rose finds herself luring Gabe into the depths of the rain forest, where Morlen's hunters wait.


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