Review of The Last Season by Eric Blehm rating *****
Two years ago, my wife and I took a vacation to California to complete the Majestic Mountain Loop: Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite. I knew nothing about Kings Canyon at the time but found it to have some of the most stunning sights. I took the two images that grace the home page of this site during our visit to Kings Canyon. So, a story about a backcountry ranger who went missing in Kings Canyon piqued my interest.
You know from the outset that this story revolves around the mystery of what happened to Randy Morgenson, the missing ranger. The author lays out four plausible scenarios: suicide, accident, murder, or an intentional disappearance.
Randy grew up in the Sierra Nevadas. So, his ranger position seemed like a good fit. The isolation of his job, however, came with some big negatives. He spent months away from his wife, who eventually filed for divorce. That unfortunate development spurred on the suicide theory. Adding to his troubles was low pay that was barely enough to justify the time spent away.
Randy was a writer and amateur photographer. Part of his job was to document his day-to-day activities in a logbook. The author uses those journal entries and interviews with Randy’s wife, friends, and fellow rangers to paint a clear picture of Randy.
As the story unfolds, none of the scenarios seem any more plausible than the others. It’s a mystery that the author keeps going to the final pages.