Shadows of the Canyon
At a Grand Canyon tourist hotel in 1923, Alexandria Keegan discovers her politician father romancing her fellow Harvey girl. She pelts him with harsh words and vegetables. Alex’s cowboy friend Luke calms her down, but she blames herself for being unChristian and unladylike. As they view the splendor of the canyon at sunset, Alex sees it as “God’s handiwork.” Luke has eyes only for her.
Author Tracie Peterson uses conflict to build tension among the characters. Alex conflicts with her father and with the wealthy, powerful patrons of the resort where she works as a waitress. Politician Joel Harper is a diabolical villain who pushes himself on Alex. When someone is murdered, he is the prime suspect. Will the Harvey girl and her cowboy identify the murderer in time to save others’ lives?
The author’s omniscient view employs well-worn devices: using Luke’s point of view to describe Alex; having Valerie look in the mirror. Her characters’ judgmental attitudes do not endear the reader. Nobody likes a cowboy who tells a pretty girl, “It’s only from Christian charity that I’m talking to you.” She needs to ease up on the holier-than-thou.