Two skiers discover the body of Abbie Cooper. She had been dead for some time. Her body was found in a frozen mountain creek.
At the time, Abbie was wanted for murder and ecoterrorism but how did she get to this isolated place and be shot?
The story tells the events leading up to the discovery of her body. She was an innocent teenager who was about to finish high school and had close ties to her family.
On a family vacation to a dude ranch, she meets a young ranch hand. He takes her to his family's ranch where his father raises horses and the setting is wonderful. However, she learns that companies are drilling for gas on the ranches near him. When the people bought these ranches, the government only sold surface rights and kept the mineral rights. They were now leasing those rights to private companies.
After returning home to a more normal existence, one day her father announces that he's not happy and is leaving Abbie's mother. Abbie was devastated and told him he was ruining their lives but it didn't make any difference. To Abbie, this was the second betrayal.
She picked a college out west and when she arrived became active in various protest movements. Eventually she moved to more radical movements and became hardened.
The author provides a good example of how divorce can destroy a family and that it is the children who suffer the most. The story is also a scathing report on the uncaring attitude of these companies doing the drilling for gas and how little they care for the lives of the people who live on the land.
A quick and entertaining read but not up to the excellence of "The Horse Whisperer."