No one solves crimes like Skeleton Detective Gideon Oliver.
Gideon and his wife are on vacation in Mexico when a local police chief requests his assistance on a case. A mummified corpse was discovered in the desert and the coroner believed the victim was shot. But Gideon's examination reveals the victim was stabbed with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Then Gideon is asked to examine the skeleton of a murder victim found a year earlier--only to discover another error. The coroner misidentified the remains as belonging to a twelve to fifteen-year-old girl, when in fact the remains were that of a young woman of twenty.
Gideon knows these two "mistakenly" identified bodies aren't a coincidence. But finding the connection between them will prove more dangerous than he could possibly imagine-- and place him into the crosshairs of the killer he's hunting.
What sounded like an idyllic winter getaway at relatives' Oaxacan dude ranch turns into a bonesman's holiday for Gideon Oliver and his wife, Julie, in Edgar-winner Elkins's atmospheric 16th mystery to feature the forensic anthropologist (after 2008's Uneasy Relations). Before the Washington State couple can even sample the quesadillas at the Hacienda Encantada, their hostess, Julie's cousin, asks Gideon if he'd mind helping the local police chief by examining the mummified remains of what appears to be a murder victim. One skeleton swiftly leads to a second--and from there smack into a suspenseful puzzle whose secret someone will apparently kill to protect. Elkins partially tips his hand before hitting the home stretch of his rapidly accelerating plot, but, even so, the final revelations should leave you--if not the unflappable Bone Detective--pleasantly surprised. (Sept.).
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August 31, 2009
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