The Slickrock Paradox by Stephen LegaultThe Slickrock Paradox by Stephen Legault

The Slickrock Paradox

byStephen Legault

Paperback | September 4, 2012

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Silas Pearson is looking for answers. It's been more than three years since his wife, Penelope de Silva, disappeared while working on a conservation project in Utah's red rock wilderness. Law enforcement authorities have given up hope of finding the adventurous Penelope alive. And some suggest that she may not have vanished into the desert at all, but simply left Silas for another man. Silas moves to Moab, where his wife was last seen, with one purpose: finding his wife, dead or alive. His search takes him into a spectacular wilderness of red rock canyons, soaring mesas, and vertical earth, where he must confront his failures as a husband and his guilt over not being there when Penelope needed him most.

The Slickrock Paradox is the first book in the Red Rock Canyon Mysteries, a series of books that explores an iconic American landscape through an atypical anti-hero who is deeply flawed, reluctant, and yet familiar.

Title:The Slickrock ParadoxFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.69 inPublished:September 4, 2012Publisher:TouchWood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927129397

ISBN - 13:9781927129395


Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Slickrock Paradox Excellent setting. Nicely Canadian without shutting other nationalities out. Good strong, real characters and dialogue is to the point. Suspenseful. I eagerly await number two in the series.
Date published: 2013-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fine and Deadly Place Stephen Legault’s first entry in his Red Rock Canyon mysteries strikes a double blow in the first pages with the murderous torpor of the desert and the fatal terrors of a flash flood. Silas Pearson is a man with one tough mission. His wife disappeared on a hiking trip near Moab, Utah, in one of the most rugged and unforgiving places in the US. He will not rest until he finds her, dead or alive. And if anyone’s to blame, God help them before he arrives. Silas was a philosophical and enigmatic man, a lover of the Ivory Tower. His wife preferred the outdoors, and visited desert places threatened by the outside world before they were destroyed. Her disappearance not only left him heartbroken, but also a prime suspect. Believing that she was with friends, he waited a few days before reporting her missing. The FBI, involved because of the national park status, still regards him with suspicion. Perhaps on his travels, he will “discover” her body. Leaving his soft life as a literature professor in Flagstaff, he holes up in the desert in an adobe hut. He also runs a broken-down bookstore in Moab as he tries to piece together the remains of his shattered life. Local gossip suggests that his wife left him for another man, but Silas can’t believe it. Methodically, he forages out nearly every day with little more than snacks and water, and often sleeps in his wreck of a car. Back with his maps, he graphs his progress square inch by square inch as he combs the desert, up a draw here, across a mesa there, squeezing through a defile in the brutal heat. “Despondent, he pulled up the total for his three and a half years of journeying: 4212 miles….he could have strode from San Diego, California, to Bangor, Maine…He did the calculation for elevation: just over three hundred thousand feet....He could have climbed Mount Everest ten times.” To Silas it’s worth every blister and broken bone to bring her home as he teeters on the edge of madness. “Penny” is “not here,” and “not here.” Even helicopters and search parties couldn’t help. The red rock canyon country hides many secrets, often behind a scrabble of fallen rock or a shadow of scree. The land last mapped in the US has no pity. No water, no cell coverage, 112F temperatures, and a rattler around every corner. Legault’s impeccable research paces Silas on every foot of his journey. Like his character, he knows its curves, planes, and shadows like a lover. Guided by the lines of her favourite book, Abbey’s DESERT SOLITAIRE, a popular memoir that as an academic he once scorned, Silas homes in on sentences which haunt him in the night and lead him to places like Courthouse Wash, where the flood envelops him. He’s alive and battered, but he discovers a skeleton lodged under a cottonwood in the mid. Has he found Penny at last? The law is both mystified and annoyed at this joyless hermit. This may be no man’s land, but there is money to be made, not only from wealthy tourists ready to shell out for views to die for, Puebloan artifacts worth hundreds of thousands on the world markets, but from valuable mineral and gas/oil resources that lie beneath the rough skin of this country. As he turns over rocks in more ways than one, Silas makes himself an unwanted guest at an expensive party. Nature is amoral, but there will be no helping hand for a misstep.
Date published: 2012-09-10