This book tells the true story of a hunting party that headed for the Idaho mountains in 1893, and when the hired cook took ill, his companions left him to die in order to save their own skins. Not right away, of course, but it comes to that painfully and inexorably through the selfishness and complacency of the group's leadership. At the end I couldn't really blame the survivors for that final decision, yet there were so many things they should have done differently to avert disaster that everyone shares at least part of the blame, including the cook himself.
The parts focusing on the hunting party—their route, actions, thought processes, group dynamic, etc.—are pretty gripping reading, but the book loses steam and my interest when it goes into encyclopedic detail (e.g., with exhaustive lists of supplies) and introduces a massive and personality-free cast of characters (with who's involved in the different rescue efforts, where they're going, how many mules they had when they started, how many mules they had left by the time they gave up, and so on). Eventually two of the rescue units admit defeat and I got to focus on the one who clearly will be successful, and then it begins to feel less like the list of Civil War battles and generals I failed to commit to memory in high school.
Overall it was an interesting read that kept my attention, and knowing it happened somewhat locally and that the escape/rescue route where the most drama occurred is essentially today's Highway 12 means I now have a hankering to go exploring myself.