This week I’m recommending Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr. This was the latest in my kick of reading fiction set in the Southwest. Indeed, I only picked it up because I thought it was set in Nevada (it’s actually set in the Sierra Nevada mountains). I could definitely keep on with this theme until I run out of selections. Sense of place is really important in Southwestern fiction, and I am loving that aspect of these reads.
Lost Canyon concerns four Los Angelinos–Gwen, a black youth counselor; Oscar, a Hispanic realtor; and Todd, wealthy white lawyer–who go for a four-day hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains, led by Tracy, their thrill-seeking, Japanese-American female trainer. I mention race because it is important to this story, and Revoyr spends some time setting up the back stories of the three hikers, jumping into each of their heads. Despite the idyllic natural setting, the tension begins to build before they even start hiking, as they first stop at a strange country store and then are told by the park ranger that their chosen trail has been closed due to a wildfire in the area. Egged on by Tracy, they decide to take the ranger’s suggestion and hike a little-known trail outside of the park, for which their only guide is a decades-old, hand-drawn map. After one nice day hiking, they take a wrong turn, and events get terrifying fast. As the suspense picks up, so does the pace, making this a very quick read.