Pepper Anne Wright knew all too well the importance of being a doggy mummy, especially after last time, so when Rufus didn’t come when she called she left in search of him. She didn’t think of the danger, just preventing her father’s tears. Little did she know her actions that day would cause him more pain than she could have imagined. It is nearly Christmas, and when she doesn’t come hope people begin to worry. Authorities attempt to find her, hoping against hope that she is alive. But we know the truth, Pepper Anne has been murdered, and the hunt is about to begin to find the killer.
Sam Knupp’s Smoke on the Mountains is written with an engaging narrative filled with location appropriate colloquialisms that nurtures an authentic feel to the work. It is intelligently planned and written, with an insertion of humour in places that put me in mind of Douglas Adams. The characters are complex and developed just like setting. Sam Knupp clearly likes his idioms, and there are certainly no shortage of interesting ones, some set scenes, others moods. Every chapter starts with a title which acts to clarify timeline, and a thought, then ends on a ‘wisdom says’ note that put me in mind of daytime TVs final thoughts or thought of the day, but were related to the chapter being read. It is well paced with attention to detail, and enough suggestion and deception to point a finger, only for you to be surprised. I particularly enjoyed how the town and characters were built, and the after word at the end which goes on to tell you about the characters and what happened next. The almost poetic and contemplative style of writing may not appeal to everyone, but the good plot, characters, and development will keep a reader entertained for hours.