Mortal Fall: A Novel of Suspense (Glacier Mystery Series #2) (Paperback)
A wildlife biologist’s shocking death leads to chilling discoveries about a home for troubled teens in Christine Carbo’s haunting and compelling new crime novel set in the wilds of Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park police officer Monty Harris knows that each summer at least one person—be it a reckless, arrogant climber or a distracted hiker—will meet tragedy in the park. But Paul “Wolfie” Sedgewick’s fatal fall from the sheer cliffs near Going-To-the-Sun Road is incomprehensible. Wolfie was an experienced and highly regarded wildlife biologist who knew all too well the perils that Glacier’s treacherous terrain presents—and how to avoid them.
The case, so close to home, has frayed park employee emotions. Yet calm and methodical lead investigator Monty senses in his gut that something isn’t right. So when whispers of irresponsibility or suicide emerge, tarnishing Wolfie’s reputation, Monty dedicates himself to uncovering the truth, for the sake of the man’s family and to satisfy his own persistent sense of unease.
Monty discovers that Wolfie’s zealous studies of Glacier’s mysterious, embattled wolverine population, so vital to park ecology, had met resistance, both local and federal. To muddy the waters further, a wilderness facility for rehabilitating troubled teens—one that Monty’s older brother attended—may have a disturbing connection to the case. As Monty delves further into an investigation that goes deeper than he ever imagined, he wrestles with the demons of his past, which lead back to harsh betrayals he thought he’d buried long ago.
And then a second body is found.
About the Author
Christine Carbo is the author of The Wild Inside, Mortal Fall, and The Weight of Night. A Florida native, she and her family live in Whitefish, Montana. Find out more at ChristineCarbo.com.
“Carbo doesn’t do superficial. She gives her characters weight. And like her debut, Mortal Fall provides a story with dual tracks—the investigation into murder and the rugged journey of the soul."
— New York Journal of Books
"Compulsively readable...Carbo paints a moving picture of complex, flawed people fighting to make their way in a wilderness where little is black or white, except the smoky chiaroscuro of the sweeping Montana sky.”
— Publishers Weekly
“[Carbo] writes with a sense of simple realism that comes from being a local. The grandeur and beauty of Glacier isn't over-written, nor ignored.
Carbo has a strong grasp of the area and writes with proficiency. The beauty and grit that is the Flathead Valley and Glacier is easily overwrought, and surprisingly, Mortal Fall is not….It's the perfect mystery to read beside the lake, not creepy or nightmarish. Mortal Fall is a well written case of murder, set in a beautiful place."
— The Missoulian
"If Mortal Fall were just a beautifully written, sharp-eyed procedural, that would be reason enough to read it. But Christine Carbo offers so much more in this fine second novel. It’s a study of flawed, compelling characters and the ghosts that haunt them. It’s also a fascinating look at the relationship of humans with the too-rapidly changing landscape of Glacier Park. And finally, it’s the tragic story of the forces that can shatter a family. This novel works on so many levels, all of them masterfully crafted."
— William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of Windigo Island
“Mortal Fall is a terrific read. With a masterful hand, Christine Carbo guides her readers through an intriguing mystery full of complex relationships and smartly-developed characters. Her rich descriptions immerse you in the grandeur of Glacier National Forest as this riveting story unfolds. Christine Carbo should be a part of every mystery-lover’s personal library.”
— Allen Eskins, author of The Guise of Another
“Carbo brings subtlety and sensitivity to the smallest of moments… those willing to soak up the character-driven context will find much to enjoy here.”
"I found this book more and more engaging as it moved along a dark and dangerous path to a surprise conclusion."
— Mystery Scene Magazine
"Christine Carbo’s wonderful depictions of Glacier National Park and the surrounding national forests and wilderness made me long for a return…I relished Mortal Fall so much, that I now plan to purchase Carbo’s debut novel The Wild Inside.”
Praise for The Wild Inside:
“...stays in your mind long after you’ve put the book down. I’m still thinking about it. Prepare to run the gamut of emotions with this fine treat of a story. Then, in the years ahead, be on the lookout for more from this fresh new voice in the thriller genre.”
— Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series
"Fans of Nevada Barr will love this tense, atmospheric thriller with its majestic Glacier National Park setting. The Wild Inside is a stunning debut!"
— Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author of TO DWELL IN DARKNESS
“An intense and thoroughly enjoyable thrill ride. Christine Carbo’s literary voice echoes with her love of nature, her knowledge of its brutality, and the wild and beautiful locale of Montana. The Wild Inside is a tour de force of suspense that will leave you breathlessly turning the pages late into the night.”
— Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of THE DEAD WILL TELL
“The brutality and fragility of Glacier National Park’s wilderness provides the perfect backdrop for this well-crafted, absorbing novel about the barbarities and kindnesses of the humans living on its edge. Christine Carbo is a writer to watch.”
— Tawni O'Dell, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us
“Grizzly bears, murder, mauling, and mayhem mix in Carbo's debut novel. Ted Systead's past and present intersect in an unexpected—and chilling—manner against the incongruously gorgeous backdrop of Glacier National Park.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Sharp, introspective Systead is a strong series lead, and Carbo rolls out solid procedural details, pitting him against Department of the Interior bureaucrats. The grittiness of the poverty-wracked area surrounding Glacier plays against the park’s dangerous beauty in this dark foray into the wilderness subgenre. Put this one in the hands of those who enjoy Paul Doiron’s Mike Bowditch novels and Julia Keller’s Bell Elkins series.”
“If the key to a mystery’s success is keeping the reader guessing, The Wild Inside is a fine example of the genre.”
— The Billings Gazette
"The most powerful and compelling aspect of the novel is the balancing of criminal investigation and the emotional baggage that burdens the protagonist....The wilderness provides a lush background for this combination of crime and personal redemption, the resolution as nuanced as the death of Victor Lance."