Sundown on Top of the World

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

R.E. Donald

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A former homicide cop, now driving a big rig, gets involved in investigating a 25-year-old cold case linked to a bloody trapper's cabin, abandoned sled dogs, & a missing hippie girl. A reclusive old half-native woman living with her granddaughter in an Alaskan bush town may be the key.



Short Summary

While his Freightliner is in for repair, an ex-cop takes a side trip to bush Alaska where a chance meeting with a young woman awakens his interest in a baffling cold case. An American draft-dodger & his girlfriend went missing from a bloody cabin in 1972, leaving their sled dogs chained outside.

Hunter saves the life of an old woman & her dog on the banks of the Yukon River in bush Alaska. The old woman provides the key to locating the trapper's missing girlfriend. The hippie girl returns to the Yukon & is able to confirm the identity of the murderer & is reunited with her lost daughter.


Alaska, Yukon

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Philosophical Questions,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Hunter Rayne

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Honorable,Strong Moral Code,Modest

Additional Character Details

Name: Betty Salmon

Age: 70

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Complex,Insecure,Uneducated,Secretive,Lone Wolf

Additional Character Details

Name: Golden Dawn Salmon

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Insecure,Romantic,Heartthrob

Additional Character Details

Name: Orville Barstow

Age: 70

Gender: Male

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Engaging,Romantic,Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Educated,Modest,Empathetic

Development Pitch

"Sundown on Top of the World" combines an intriguing murder mystery with a fascinating setting in Alaska and the Yukon. As a bonus, it includes historical issues of draft-dodging in the era of the Vietnam War and the free-wheeling hippie lifestyle of the times. The main character, Hunter Rayne, is a unique hero in contemporary mysteries: a former homicide investigator who now drives a big rig up and down the west coast of North America, from Southern California to Alaska. The hours of solitude on the road behind the wheel of his Freightliner serve as therapy for his undiagnosed PTSD. The Lone Ranger of America's highways, he is no longer a lawman, but when he encounters injustice, he still feels compelled to find justice for victims and the wrongly accused. The major recurring characters include a loquacious biker from Yreka, Calfornia who looks a bit like Hulk Hogan and tends to have problems with impulse control and provides a foil to straight-as-an-arrow Hunter Rayne. Hunter's boss is a large, gruff woman, nicknamed Big Mother Trucker by her drivers, who likes to get involved in helping Hunter by tracking down leads using her office phone. She has a small black dog called Peterbilt. The Highway Mysteries are written in a very visual style with scenes from the points of view of five major characters, so the books would be easy to adapt for the screen. "Sundown" was a finalist for the Whistler Independent Book Award in 2016 and has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon.

About The Author

R.E. Donald is the author of the Hunter Rayne Highway Mysteries series. Ruth worked in the transportation industry in various capacities for 25 years and draws on her experience in creating the realistic characters and situations in her novels. Ruth attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., where she studied languages and creative writing to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree. She currently lives on a ranch in the South Cariboo region of B.C., where she and her partner, Gilbert Roy, enjoy their Canadian Horses (Le Cheval Canadien) and other animals.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Proud Horse Publishing

Year Published: 2016

Hard Copy Available