Visits with her uncle in Kamloops and the Shuswap provided the inspiration for the first book in Ruth Donald’s ongoing series of detective novels.
Her uncle, John Hunter, lived in Brocklehurst for 60 years and Donald often visited him there and at the family’s property at Eagle Bay in the Shuswap.
“I am very familiar with the city,” Donald said from her home in Langley. “I used to visit him a lot.”
The name of Donald’s hero, a former RCMP homicide detective turned long-haul trucker, shares her Uncle John’s last name and her maiden name. Her protagonist is Hunter Rayne.
Slow Curve on the Coquihalla, which Donald published electronically in 2011, is now available via print on demand from her publishing company Proud Horse Publishing.
Work on Slow Curve actually began in the early 1990s, but her writing career was put on the backburner when her husband died in 1996.
A trucker who co-founded Overland Freight, Jim Donald was also a martial artist who trained RCMP officers and was even recruited to do undercover work.
Jim told Donald a trucker can show up anywhere and nobody would ever question him being there. This provided her with the idea for her detective series, she said.
In Slow Curve, a well-respected truck driver is found dead in his vehicle at the bottom or an embankment on the Coquihalla Highway. The family suspects foul play and recruits Hunter Rayne to investigate.
“The daughter wants to know why it happened. She doesn’t believe that he would just drive off the highway,” said Donald. “He starts looking into it and realizes there’s something fishy about it.”
Without giving too much away, the rest of Slow Curve unravels with bikers and a cross-border smuggling ring. Along the way, Donald refers to landmarks people in the region will recognize.
“There is a fair amount that takes place in and around Kamloops. They will recognize the locations in and around Kamloops,” she said.
Donald has published two more Hunter Rayne mysteries, Ice on the Grapevine and Sea to Sky. A fourth is in the works.
For more on Donald and Hunter Rayne, visit proudhorsepublishing.com.