“Death Canyon” by David Riley Bertsch / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Death Canyon by David Riley Bertsch


Debut author. Great new mystery/thriller. This book is the start of a series; but this story is so good, I’m not sure how Bertsch is going to top it using this scenario and these characters following this much fictional destruction.

The beginning gets my attention: earthquakes in Wyoming, men getting rid of the body of a friend of theirs in a watery gorge, and a group of half-naked Native Americans participating in a “relations” dance, which to this reviewer of Irish decent, looks a lot like the Celtic rituals of old.

Death Canyon is much better than the initial generic blurbs offered. This is an intertwined story of species’ rage and greed – both human and nonhuman. I really didn’t see in advance where this story was going (didn’t see it coming until page 157), which made it fun. This isn’t a story about fly-fishing and murder set in Jackson Hole; this is a story of avarice to the point of annihilating the human race, the propulsion to the end of the world as we know it. What starts small blows up to world-ending proportions. The backstory plays out with perfect pacing; not too much at the beginning, and then only peppered nicely when the explanation is needed. And add all the crazy and unexpected elements: Rocky Mountain wildlife, ex-lawyer, politics and corruption, Mafia thugs, real earthquakes in Wyoming (what’s up with that?).

In the beginning, Bertsch thanks his wife and family for giving him the courage to write this book. I thank them, too. There is a long career ahead for this new writer. Someday, I would like to take a little trip to Jackson, Wyoming and do a little fly-fishing with Bertsch. When the ground starts shaking, he would be a good one to have nearby.

Well, this should give you a few eclectic titles to read over the next few days. Get in touch with these authors, learn about them, and tell them you would like to see them at this year’s Killer Nashville.

And remember, if you buy your books through the links on Killer Nashville, you’ll still get the great Amazon discount prices, but – better yet – a portion of the proceeds goes towards the educational events sponsored by the good volunteers at Killer Nashville. So support Killer Nashville while you’re supporting our featured authors!

Until next time, read like someone is burning the books!

Clay Stafford

– Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (www.ClayStafford.com) and founder of Killer Nashville (www.KillerNashville.com).  As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages.  Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” (www.OneOfTheMiracles.com) and the music CD “XO” (www.JefferyDeaverXOMusic.com). A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.”  (PW 6/10/13)

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