In the Shadow of Denali

Written by Kimberley Woodhouse Tracie Peterson
Review by Val Adolph

In 1917, three men ascend the great Alaskan mountain Denali; only two return alive. For years Allan Brennan has been told that his father died on the mountain that day because of the carelessness of the guide. But when, six years later, as an adult, Allan visits Denali and meets this guide, he becomes convinced that the story told him by his father’s partner cannot be true. The guide, John Ivanoff, who had led his father’s party up the mountain, is the most careful and conscientious of men. And he has a beautiful daughter that Allan falls in love with. Learning to become a guide himself Allan must work with John, but besides learning about the mountain he must also discover the truth about his father’s death however painful that might be.

The book’s main character is the great mountain Denali. Descriptions of this mountain are gripping, and this is fortunate because the human characters are flat and spend much time on internal monolog. The authors missed an opportunity here to show their skills in structuring and pacing a novel.