WHERE WATERS RUN NORTH

Available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats

Veterinarian Kent Stephenson and a local Native American leader put aside their differences as they conspire to defend their town from a greedy corporation that is desecrating their river.

Doctor Stephenson’s day-to-day routine of caring for animals is shattered by the apparently random murder of his lifelong friend. He and his hound, Lucinda, are drawn into the investigation. Kent soon suspects that small-town politics surrounding a new riverside resort have led to murder, and that it won’t end with just one victim. When a nameless toddler is found wandering alone by the river, all bets are off. Before long, Kent is mired in a conflict between Native American beliefs and modern-day avarice. As he unravels the mystery, Kent struggles with the emotional upheaval of a new love interest, and a crushing sense of helplessness, as he fights the medical battle of his career to save the life of his daughter’s prize stallion.

 Along the way, Kent is forced to face a gut-wrenching reality—traditional Native medicine is saving animals that are dying in his hands.

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Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

“Where Waters Run North: A Kent Stephenson Thriller by Frank Martorana is a page-turner of a book from the first chapter to the last with some wonderful surprises along the way. The main characters are very much ordinary people, very down-to-earth, and relatable. They are Kent Stephenson, his daughter Emily and son Barry (Skipper), Lute Crimshaw, his sister Jodi, his nephew Pegger and Jodi’s son, Jimmy Silverheel, and Merrill Stephenson the Chief of Police and brother to Kent, but you cannot forget the main character, the Chittenango River.

Frank Martorana is one of the few authors I have come across who give the history of the areas in which he has placed his stories, which helps the reader to picture the scene more clearly. The explanations about how and why the Native American people revere the rivers and all creatures in them and the land, and how they use what nature provides to heal and survive are wonderful. Native Indians and their ways are often considered unimportant but, by rights, they have been trying to save the world since the time of General Custer.

The author has taken a thought, a word, or a picture, and has written a most exciting and immersive book that takes the reader into the world of the main characters. What a wonderful trip! It takes a few minutes after you put Where Waters Run North down to realize that you are not in Jefferson, New York, or near the Onondaga Escarpment and the rivers that flow from it. Thank you, Frank, for a wonderful story that takes you away from the real world for a while and helps you recharge your batteries to face it again.” — Readers’ Favorite

 

BookLife Prize Review

Where Waters Run North balances action with character development, delivering a pulsating plot that also boasts depth and substance. The dissonance between opposing cultures is exquisitely rendered, and Martorana skillfully portrays the potential for them to be connected – without losing authenticity and respect for Native beliefs. He weaves a well-paced murder mystery into this tapestry and delivers an ending that manages to feel both gratifying and shocking at the same time.

Martorana’s dialogue is spot on and rolls off the pages in a natural cadence. His writing style subtly reinforces the main themes of the story, and he manages to fuse the plot and background together almost seamlessly.

Despite a storyline that may feel familiar in some ways, this thriller will check off all the boxes for fans – and Martorana’s smooth prose, combined with a tight plot, makes this a sure hit.

Martorana excels with character development and uses his main players to reflect the novel’s motif. Lute and Kent delicately reveal opposite sides of the same coin, and their mutual respect allows them to learn from each other while advancing the plot in unique ways. In a similar fashion, Pegger and Feron are depicted as allied but not comparable, with Pegger’s poor choices displaying his humanity against the backdrop of his internal pain.