Viking, Jun 2002, 25.95, 390 pp.
Ariel Rankin grew up in Manhattan thinking that Brice McCarthy was her father. However, recently the Manhattan publisher has learned that Brice is not her biological father, but that Kip Calder had sired her. Stunned with the truth, and single and pregnant, Ariel decides to meet Kip.
In the 1960s Kip impregnated his girlfriend Jessica and fled to Southeast Asia where he became a spy. Brice, irate with his best friend for what he did to Jessica, stepped in and married her, helping her raise Ariel. Now Kip is back home in New Mexico, nearing death and wants to meet his daughter. However, instead of waiting for her, Kip decides to finish his life with one last quest. He is helping widower Delfino Montoya to reclaim the ranch the Feds snatched from her family for those notorious tests in the proving ground.
ARIEL'S CROSSING is a deep relationship drama filled with numerous subplots that draw from the divergent culture that the Manhattan Project and subsequent nuclear research brought to New Mexico. The story line is action packed though some of the secondary threads take away from the prime theme. Still readers will feel mesmerized as the characters take the audience on a tour of the Land of Enchantment including the pits rarely seen by anyone who is not a Lobo or an Aggie.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner