“Hanna knew nothing was wrong with her. But Mommy wanted them to look. Again.”
After a particularly bad treatment for Kate, Andrew goes into work and pulls off a miracle: he takes a 3 month leave of absence from work and reserves them a cabin on a lake in Maine. But all is not peaceful and serene. Someone or something is hiding in the woods.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident (as it is later known) is an actual mystery that occcurred in the Ural Mountains of the then Soviet Union. During the night of February 1, 1959, in the Siberian wilderness, nine experienced Russian hikers slashed open their tent from the inside and ran into a blizzard without proper attire. Interestingly enough, not all of the hikers died of hypothermia. One of the hikers was actually missing her tongue. An investigation by the Russian government concluded that an “unknown compelling force” had caused the deaths. But what was the force? Theories include animal attacks, hypothermia, avalanche, attack by Mansi people (indigenous folk of the region), or some type of military accident. The place where they died is called Kholat Syakhl by the Mansi – Mountain of the Dead.
Anna Johnson’s parents lost hope in life. First, her father committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. Then, not long after, her mother also jumped to her death in the exact same location. Everyone in the region knows exactly who they are and what happened. They all believe they know the story too. But Anna doesn’t believe her parents committed suicide. She’s sure that something else is amiss in the case. And this theory is supported when she begins receiving messages, notes and even threats from a mysterious source who is upset that she isn’t content to let the death of her parents just rest.
With the help of a mostly retired investigator, Anna begins looking at clues and pulling together seemingly random bits of information. Was it suicide? Was it murder? What if it was neither?
In typical Dellosso style we are plunged headlong into the life of a simple man facing extraordinary and impossible circumstances. Sam must face ethereal enemies from the past, a very flesh and blood enemy stalking him in the present, and before all is over his greatest enemy of all – the one that abides within.