Review: Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde

Brad Dimock (2001)

A piece on NPR’s morning news brought this book to my attention. I had never heard of Glen and Bessie Hyde, a couple who vanished on the Colorado River in 1928, but their story is legendary among river guides. Their journey through the Grand Canyon on a wooden sweep scow was to be an historic event (Bessie would have been the first woman to run the river). About two-thirds of the way down the river, the couple disappeared. Their scow was found intact and virtually untouched, as if they had left it just moments before. Their disappearance made front page headlines across the country and sparked a search that lasted for years. The mystery deepened when the body of a murdered man was uncovered years later, and an elderly woman on a river rafting trip made a fireside confession that she was the long-lost Bessie.

The author, himself a river guide, drew from personal experience, years of research and his recreation of the Hydes’ journey to write this page-turner. Dimock speculates on what might have occurred in the final hours and minutes of the Hydes’ fateful river run, exploring the intriguing myth and mystery.

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