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The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo
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The Wild Inside (2015)

by Christine Carbo

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This is the first of a series of mysteries set in Glacier National Park in Montana.

When Ted Systead was a young teenager, he survived a horrifying camping trip gone wrong in Glacier Park. His father was pulled from the tent he shared with his son by a grizzly bear and killed.

Now as a member of the National Parks crime investigation team, Systead is called to Glacier Park to investigate an incredibly bloody (oh I so want to say grisly!) scene – a body has been found tied to a pine tree and partially devoured by a grizzly bear.

Systead deals both with the ghosts from his past and the puzzle of the murder investigation, which has lots of twists and turns.

There are lots of local color details and it is obvious that the author is very familiar with Glacier Park and the surrounding small towns. Glacier Park is definitely the main character and is well realized. Looking ahead, I see that the sequels continue with different characters from this book and new mysteries within the Park.

One of the downsides was that there was a bit too much pontificating in the last chapter. “Did you ever think of not turning in the perpetrator?” - followed by a bit of Philosophizing about RIGHT AND WRONG and Civilization.

This is good enough read that will appeal to outdoor people and lovers of Glacier Park. While not perfectly crafted, I'm very willing to read the next in the series. ( )
  streamsong | Dec 30, 2018 |
This book appealed to me because it is set in Glacier Park and the author does an excellent job of describing the feeling and grandeur of the area as well as the attitudes of the people living in the area. Ted Systead, a special agent for the Department of the Interior, returns to the area to investigate the murder of a man who was mauled by a grizzly bear in the park. Ted spends a lot of time trying to come to terms with his history growing up there and surviving after his own father was killed by a grizzly. I skipped some mentions of animal cruelty contained in the book and skimmed parts of Ted's inner musings, but it was a good read with a surprise ending. ( )
  terran | Aug 12, 2018 |
Grizzlies are not evil! ( )
  joanalau | Sep 6, 2017 |
THE WILD INSIDE is not the usual physical, violent chase through mountains and woods where the good guy detective hunts down the bad guys. This probably has something to do with Carbo's gender. The work instead is more of one searching out relationships and with the male detective being forced to work out an ignored and dramatic PTSD issue.

Why did Carbo make the protagonist male? I laughed out loud several time thinking I would like to meet the guy who thinks like her guy. Nothing would have been lost, at all, if the lead had been a strong woman dealing with a devastating past, one being projected on her present.

I vote for writers writing what they know, not guessing at how it might be for others.

The plot is strong, subtle, and completely avoids cliche. The lines blur between the good guys and the bad guys, with the murder victim being the primary exception.

I am giving four stars because of the setting and naturalist issues. Carbo knows her spectacular backyard of Glacier NP and does a nice job sharing it with us.

I will put her next book on my list. ( )
  Mark-Bailey | Jul 1, 2017 |
THE WILD INSIDE is not the usual physical, violent chase through mountains and woods where the good guy detective hunts down the bad guys. This probably has something to do with Carbo's gender. The work instead is more of one searching out relationships and with the male detective being forced to work out an ignored and dramatic PTSD issue.

Why did Carbo make the protagonist male? I laughed out loud several time thinking I would like to meet the guy who thinks like her guy. Nothing would have been lost, at all, if the lead had been a strong woman dealing with a devastating past, one being projected on her present.

I vote for writers writing what they know, not guessing at how it might be for others.

The plot is strong, subtle, and completely avoids cliche. The lines blur between the good guys and the bad guys, with the murder victim being the primary exception.

I am giving four stars because of the setting and naturalist issues. Carbo knows her spectacular backyard of Glacier NP and does a nice job sharing it with us.

I will put her next book on my list. ( )
  torreyhouse | Jul 1, 2017 |
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Book description
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.
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A special agent for the Department of the Interior, Ted Systead, investigates a murder in Glacier National Park where a victim was tied to a tree and mauled by a grizzly bear.

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