A heartbreaking and gripping exploration of journeys gone awry.
By Andrea Lankford ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 22, 2023
A former park ranger, disillusioned by bureaucracy, recounts her journey to find missing hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. Lankford had spent 12 years as a National Park Service ranger, specializing in rescue missions and investigations of missing hikers in some of the most remote places in the U.S. Despite the near-impossible challenge, she was compelled to take on the task of finding three missing PCT hikers. Even after 50 professional searchers scoured the area for five days, no sign of the missing hiker was found. With the help of unlikely allies, including a government mapmaker, a retired pharmacy manager, and the mother of a missing hiker, Lankford explored miles of wilderness and kept track of relevant data. She was reminded of the vastness and danger of the American wilderness, and the clues she encountered were sparse and haunting. In her pursuit, Lankford had to face gun-protected illegal pot farms, a cult, exposed cliff sides, temperature extremes, poisonous snakes, and wild animals. Off-trail, she had to assess information for reliability, analyze drone footage, and navigate missing persons groups on Facebook. In her book, Lankford combines true crime and wilderness cautionary tales, and her narrative is paced well. She conveys the hardships of uncertainty and fear in the wake of the unknown, and highlights the group’s resilience and determination in the search for answers.
Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: June 28, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023