Finished this one tonight and then went and met Scott at his reading at one our local bookstores. He's a super nice guy, in case you were wondering.
Yellowstone Standoff finds Chuck Bender and his family in Yellowstone National Park where tensions are high due to a fatal grizzly bear attack on two researchers. What's more, the wolves of Yellowstone are also acting oddly, and it's up to Chuck and a team of young scientists to figure out what exactly is going on. And that's not even including the murder.
This is easily the best book in the series. The story was compelling, the mystery was cohesive, and I really liked the characters. There are some incredibly suspenseful parts, the kind where you don't want to put the book down during, which is always good for a mystery. You also learn a lot about Yellowstone, especially aspects of it's wildlife. Everyone knows about Yellowstone's geysers and hot springs, but Graham takes the unique focus of looking at the animals. If you like wolves and grizzlies, you'll probably enjoy the parts of the book focusing on their behaviors.
One thing I really liked about this book is how much more the main characters and their relationships were developed, especially between Scott and Janelle. Their conflicts were very different than what they had been in the past. Janelle herself was a much more well rounded character in this book, gaining more interests and really coming into her own. I really liked her in this book, where I had been more lukewarm about her in the past.
I did figure out the killer before the end of the book but I was left guessing as to how exactly they were accomplishing things. So know that the mystery is a little easier, though still fun. There were also some twists that felt a little out there, though not horribly so. If you're not a fan of twists, then you probably won't like this one.
Final rating: 4 stars out of 5. Technically I'd give it more of a 3.75 but that's not an option on the star meter available here. But it's a fun read, a good mystery, and I'd recommend it. In fact, I already have to a few people. So if you're looking for a light read this summer, this is a fun one.