Morrow, Jul 2004, 23.95, 384 pp.
Elderly Tohono O'odham Indian, Emma Orozco, visits former sheriff Brandon Walker to ask if he will investigate the vicious murder of her daughter, Roseanne. Having a connection to the Indian tribe through his beloved adopted daughter and unable to refuse a client unable to pay his expenses, Brandon agrees to make inquiries into a cold case homicide that occurred over three decades ago. Solving a killing that happened during the Nixon Administration is doubtful.
Brandon turns to the privately funded The Last Chance, a group that investigates unsolved crimes for assistance including money. As he makes inquiries into the Roseanne murder, he notices a pattern of eerily similar deaths. He postulates that a serial killer or multiple culprits have left dismembered bodies by isolated Southwest roads with no other clues. He begins to close in on the amoral killer(s) who have no compunction in eliminating the sleuth, his family, and friends.
The fast-paced third Walker mystery is an exciting crime thriller that contains a lot more sexual violence (especially by an unscrupulous couple) than normally seen in a J.A. Jance tale (see J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady novels). Walker is a fabulous protagonist who reveres Native American customs and mysticism, but uses old fashion investigative techniques to try to uncover the culprit(s). The secondary cast are his wife Diana (major player in (see HOUR OF THE HUNTER and KISS OF THE BEES), a close dying friend Fat Crack Ortiz, his adopted daughter Lani and several other Indians.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner