Picks and Pans Review: Dream Country

updated 02/19/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/19/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Luanne Rice

It's drought season in Wyoming, but the withered landscape doesn't compare to the parched hearts in Rice's latest novel. Thirteen years ago rancher James Tucker's 3-year-old son Jake disappeared on a cattle drive. Torn apart by grief, his wife, Daisy, fled the ranch with Jake's twin sister, Sage. When a teenage Sage goes missing, Daisy and James must confront both their long-buried pain and a new threat: a killer out for revenge. Rice has more success with the romance than the mystery; the plot twists feel forced. But her evocative imagery makes such flaws easy to overlook. One warning: The scenes of mother cows howling as their calves are led to market may swear you off burgers forever. (Bantam, $21.95)

Bottom Line: Fierce family drama

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