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The Wild Inside: A Novel of Suspense
by Christine Carbo

Published: 2015-06-16
Paperback : 416 pages
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A haunting crime novel set in Glacier National Park about a man who finds himself at odds with the dark heart of the wild—and the even darker heart of human nature.

It was a clear night in Glacier National Park. Fourteen-year-old Ted Systead and his father were camping beneath the rugged ...
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Introduction

A haunting crime novel set in Glacier National Park about a man who finds himself at odds with the dark heart of the wild—and the even darker heart of human nature.

It was a clear night in Glacier National Park. Fourteen-year-old Ted Systead and his father were camping beneath the rugged peaks and starlit skies when something unimaginable happened: a grizzly bear attacked Ted’s father and dragged him to his death.

Now, twenty years later, as Special Agent for the Department of the Interior, Ted gets called back to investigate a crime that mirrors the horror of that night. Except this time, the victim was tied to a tree before the mauling. Ted teams up with one of the park officers—a man named Monty, whose pleasant exterior masks an all-too-vivid knowledge of the hazardous terrain surrounding them. Residents of the area turn out to be suspicious of outsiders and less than forthcoming. Their intimate connection to the wild forces them to confront nature, and their fellow man, with equal measures of reverence and ruthlessness.

As the case progresses with no clear answers, more than human life is at stake—including that of the majestic creature responsible for the attack. Ted’s search for the truth ends up leading him deeper into the wilderness than he ever imagined, on the trail of a killer, until he reaches a shocking and unexpected personal conclusion.

As intriguing and alluring as bestselling crime novels by C.J. Box, Louise Penny, and William Kent Krueger, as atmospheric and evocative as the nature writing of John Krakauer and Cheryl Strayed, The Wild Inside is a gripping debut novel about the perilous, unforgiving intersection between man and nature.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

The Wild Inside

1

Fall 2010

IF I COULD reveal one particular thing about my way of thinking it would be this: I was a fourteen-year-old boy when that feral, panic-filled night ruined my ability to see the glass as half full. It’s still hard to talk about, but in terms of self-definition, nothing comes close to that crucial three-hour span of hellish time when the emotional freedom that comes from trusting the foundation one stands on would wither like a late-fall leaf. Up until then, my mom, Mary Systead, with her hazel eyes and dimples, a hospital pharmacist and a lover of self-help and pop-psychology books, had always ridden me about being a positive thinker, telling me that I had a bad habit of seeing the glass as half empty and that if I didn’t learn to overcome it, it would have a bad effect on my life. At the time, I had no idea what she was talking about. And later, I couldn’t imagine what could be more negative than what ended up happening: losing my dad and lying in the hospital for weeks like a heavy bag of sand, listening to the orderlies telling me how lucky I was not to have died. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. What philosophical questions might be raised by the juxtaposition of man’s immoral cruelty with nature’s amoral cruelty?

2. Can Ted find meaning as an investigator of human crime in an imposing natural area, which has a lifespan measured in billions of years, compared to the relatively short span of a human life? And if so, how does he end up finding such meaning?

3. How does the quote the author chooses to place at the beginning color the reader’s perception of the nature they are about to encounter in the story? By the end of the book, do Ted’s emotions regarding Glacier National Park and its stark realities still mimic the severity of the quote or has Ted transformed his views on nature? And if so, how?

4. One reader once commented that the book reminded her of a movie made in the 1990’s, Ordinary People, which was poignant even though only one horrible thing happened – a young man drowned. But, she commented, that’s enough for a very human tragedy to unfold. In how many ways has the cruelty of one human being like Victor Lance reverberated outward and affected so many lives?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "It didn't grab me"by ebach (see profile) 12/12/15

THE WILD INSIDE has all the elements required for a winner.That's why I kept reading in spite of my disinterest. I thought it must be my fault, not the author's.

This is a novel of suspe

... (read more)

 
by lucydog (see profile) 10/20/15

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