We learn very quickly that Jake prefers making musical instruments by hand to carrying on the family tradition of law enforcement. Thea Woodruff loves to play her flute. It's a little hokey, but we know that their love of music and their love of the mountain will bring them together. The author mentions some tunes that Thea plays. You can listen to them on YouTube. They're lovely tunes and worth looking up. You can listen to them as you read. I did.
Thea's way of dealing with problems is to run away. She ran from the mountain after the death of Jake's sister. She ran from her job at her father's firm after she used The Voice to command him to leave the mountain alone. Now back with her family, she intends to run again after she apologizes to everyone for the trouble she never meant to cause.
Jake can't believe how much he has missed this frizzy haired redhead. He knows the meaning of every expression on her face. He will do whatever he can to keep her with him on the mountain. Thea loves her family, but uses whatever excuse she can to to drive into town and pop into Jake's store. She tells herself that the only reason she clung to him and kissed him was the extra strong cider that she drank.
The author also brings in the paranormal, the magic of the mountain, as she did in the first two books. Thea has The Voice. She uses it sparingly, but she uses it to get people to do what she wants them to such as telling her father to leave the mountain alone, right before she walked out on her job with him. The Voice terrifies her as using it leads to all sorts of unintended consequences.
The problems that Ms Cooper tackled in the first two books were meth producers on the mountain and collapsing bee colonies. The problem touched on in this book is overdevelopment of pristine countryside. The father of Thea, Grace and Daniel doesn't care at all for the mountain. He lives to devlop properties and to him the mountain is a prime piece of land waiting to be transformed into housing and malls.
There are several subplots. One is babies who disappear then reappear a few minutes later. One mother reports hearing a flute playing just before her baby disappeared. Another concerns Jake's mother who considers herself above the Woodruff family while she is also far too fond of alcohol. She regularly consults with a storefront psychic. And Thea encounters a child with Tardive Dyskinesia, as well as a work colleague who suddenly shows up and declares he is concerned about her. These subplots don't complicate the story, rather they add depth and flesh out the main characters.
Ms Cooper has done it again with her magical mountain. Give yourself a treat and read this book.