Laurence Parent’s extensive research and interviews create an insider’s rendering of each of these tragic events. His descriptions are unembellished and thorough, warmed by personal reflections from the family members of victims and punctuated by details from law enforcement reports. His characters are real people – inexperienced hikers, unlucky outdoorsmen, and stalwart park rangers and volunteers – whose lives intersected suddenly in life-or-death situations.
Many of these stories will make you grimace. A couple will make you altogether paranoid. But every story in Death in Big Bend will make you reflect upon the rapidity with which life’s certainties can evaporate. For those with a morbid fascination about survivalism, these accounts will take you to the edge. This is a recommended read for backcountry trekkers, adventure junkies, true crime fans, and survivalist voyeurs like me.