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By Marcia Muller
Mysterious PressCopyright © 2005 Pronzini-Muller Family Trust
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTHE RIVER
From its source deep in the wilderness on Soledad Ridge, the clear, cold water of the Perdido River begins its journey to the sea. Twenty-seven miles of mostly navigable water held in the California Public Trust because it is deemed too valuable for individual ownership. A protected place-for now.
Imagine yourself standing near the spring where the river rushes from the earth. It flows rapidly, leaping and bounding over boulders that churn it to whitewater. Ancient redwoods crowd in upon its rocky banks, shafts of sunlight penetrating their dense foliage. The cry of a hawk splits the silence, and you look up in time to see it soar against the blue sky.
You follow the river miles downstream, to where it widens and moves under eucalyptus, tanbark oak, and pine. Its banks are reed choked, a nesting place for waterfowl. A great blue heron cranes its long neck, and an osprey rises up, its wings beating the air. Sun dapples the flanks of the coho salmon and steelhead trout that have swum upstream to spawn, and you spot the sleek brown flash of a river otter as it plays in the current. You sniff air laden with pine resin and the peculiar, mentholated odor of eucalyptus.
This is a place out of time-for now.
West, where the Perdido eases off to sea level, it moves lazily around sandbars and between white sand beaches, carrying with it kayakers, swimmers, and dogs splashing after Frisbees their owners have tossed. Many of these people are locals, but most are tourists, drawn here by the river's recreational activities. Tourists, who are the lifeblood of Cape Perdido, the seaside town to the north. You watch them and think it is wonderful that all this has been preserved in its natural state for everyone's enjoyment.
Excerpted from Cape Perdido by Marcia Muller Copyright © 2005 by Pronzini-Muller Family Trust. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
first book, I heard from her. A book you can easly listen to while stuck in traffic. A little bit too many characters in the story. An ok book.
There couldn't be a better pairing of voice performers than Joyce Bean and Dick Hill. These audio book virtuosos are surely pillars of Brilliance Audio, always delivering highly listenable, thoroughly enjoyable performances. Hill has been named a 'Golden Voice' by AudioFile Magazine and, as far as this listener is concerned, Bean deserves to be gilded, too. With 'Cape Perdido' a doyenne of multi-faceted mysteries Marcia Muller takes us to an old lumber town in Northern California. It's an idyllic, unspoiled setting framed by giant redwoods and the crystalline Perdido River running with fresh mountain water. However, interlopers from another state have other plans for this recreational community - they want to pump water from the River, nearly drying it, for the benefit of cities to the South. Ecologist Jessie Domingo is against this, and she wouldn't mind bringing the situation to the attention of all via media exposure. She has an ally in Fitch Collier, a local attorney who knows all there is to know about water rights. But, what they don't know is that the North Carolina corporation that wants the water will go to any lengths to get it. Perhaps even murder - Gail Cooke
The North Carolina incorporated Aqueduct Systems, Inc wants to pump the pristine water of the Perdido River from California¿s serene Soledad County to the southern thirsty cities to the south. Friends of the Perdido River headed by Maine transplant Bernino Tobin and other pro environmentalists including internationally renowned activist but local resident Joseph Openshaw oppose the water grab that they feel will destroy the natural beauty of the area and harm the mostly navigational river. Environmental Consultants Clearinghouse has sent two specialists, water rights attorney Fitch Coller and ecologist Jessie Domingo, to assist the locals and testify in Sacramento as expert witnesses against the corporation..........................However, the environmental vs. development dispute turns dangerous when someone shoots the enormous bags used to tote the water. Additionally, instead of just obtaining supporting data on the water debate, Jessie finds herself in the middle of a cold case unsolved murder that have left angry memories that appear ready to explode with the return of Joseph...............The water rights issue has been around a long time with the demand of Southern California for the precious liquid vs. the environmental concerns of Northern California where the supply is. However, balance is lost in CAPE PERDILLO as the representatives of Aqueduct Systems, Inc are all avaricious suits wanting to make a quick buck at any cost to others while the environmental opponents, especially the outsiders, have pure motives. The murder mystery is fun to follow, but is two edged as it also takes away from the prime adversarial dispute. Though no McCone, Jessie is a terrific protagonist who should return with Fitch on future debates. Overall this is a fine tale but not quite as good as Marcia Muller normally provides............... Harriet Klausner