Summer of the Midnight Sun
Peterson begins her Alaskan Quest series with this volume, set in 1915. Leah Barringer lives with her brother, Jacob, in a remote part of the territory, running a trading post. Ten years ago she declared her love to Jayce Kincaid and was rejected. Now Jayce reappears, to see Jacob about purchasing sled dogs, and Leah has confused feelings about him. When Jayce is attacked and injured by dogs, Leah and Jacob must take him to Nome for medical treatment. There they are confronted by Helaina Beecham, a Pinkerton agent come to arrest Jayce, who is wanted for theft and murder. Leah can’t believe he is a criminal, and Jacob’s Biblical parables about showing mercy have no effect. A crime victim herself, Helaina insists Jayce must go to Seattle to face justice.
The exotic, slightly post-Gold Rush Alaskan setting was interesting, as was the idea of a female Pinkerton agent. But I found the novel slow-paced, with a rather cheerless tone and a hoary old plot device as part of the denouement. Non-fans of Christian fiction will be bothered by the heavy religious content, but Peterson’s many admirers will love the book, and the cliffhanger ending will have them coming back for more.