As the book opens, Tempe responds to a possible break in at the house of the Hamptons. Mrs. Hampton, a former active socialite of Bear Creek is suffering from dementia. It's soon obvious her condition puts stress on the rest of her family.
Tempe is also called to the Drysdale home, where fifteen-year-old Darren has shot himself. Tempe can't place her finger on it, but the way the family is grieving seems odd; even Hutch, her pastor husband thinks so. Tempe and Hutch are also the target for personal attacks by Mrs. Onstott, who wants them to interfere in her daughter's relationship with a boy she deems inapproproiate, despite the fact that the boy hasn't broken any laws.
As bears continue to wander into town creating problems for the community, Mrs. Hampton's condition deteriorates, Mrs. Onstott continues to make life difficult, and the Drysdales push away every attempt by Hutch and Tempe to help them cope with the loss of their son.
In this latest installment of her Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, Meredith creates an engaging, unique story filled with twists and turns. The unusual storyline pulled me in right away. As the various subplots unfold, there are moments you feel you have it all figured out, just to discover you're nowhere close.
Tempe and Hutch have always made an interesting couple: a Christian pastor and the sole female of the Bear Creek police force, who is part Native American. In Bears With Us, just like previous books, Tempe's heritage is explored in some way. Nick Two John is one of my favorite characters. He is the one who pushes Tempe to learn more about her heritage and to use the skills she has because of it. This has sometimes put Tempe and Hutch on opposite sides, but in this book, we see a husband and wife working together.
A strong female lead, Native American mysticism, and well-drawn characters fill Bears With Us. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel, but I suggest you read all the Deputy Tempe Crabtree novels. They're a bit like Lay’s® potato chips, "you can't have just one."
Title: Bears With Us
Author: Marilyn Meredith
Publisher: Mundania Press
Also available in a Kindle edition!
CONTEST DETAILS: Would you like to be immortalized in print? Marilyn Meredith is running a contest during her BEARS WITH US virtual book tour. Whoever leaves a comment on the most blog sites during the tour, will have his or her name used for a character in Marilyn’s next book. Please visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2011/08/11/bears-with-us-virtual-book-tour-october-2011/ for her entire schedule. Good luck!
The author paid me to promote her book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation.