The hunter is free to kill again -- and hour by hour, he draws closer . . .
The brilliant psychopath Andrew Carlisle spent only six years in prison for the brutal torture-murder of a young girl of the Tohono O'otham tribe. The testimony of Diana Ladd -- a teacher on the reservation -- put Carlisle behind bars, and now she can't ignore the dark, mystical signs that say a predator has returned to prowl the Arizona desert. Because no matter where Diana and her young son hide . . . he will find them.
Drawing on Native American life and lore as it describes the hunt for the killer of a Papago Indian girl, Jance's contemporary novel delivers suspense through rich layers of flashbacks and gritty characterization.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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August 30, 1992
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Excerpt from Hour of the Hunter by J.A. Jance
The room was square and hot, and so was the man sitting at the gray -- green metallic desk. Sweat poured off his jowls and trickled down the inside of his shirt. Finally, Assistant Superintendent Ron Mallory yanked open his collar and loosened his tie. God, it was hot -- too hot to work, too hot to think.
Through his narrow window, Mallory gazed off across the green expanse of cotton fields that surrounded the Arizona State Prison at Florence. It was June, and irrigated cotton thrived beneath a hazy desert sky with its blistering noontime sun. Maybe cotton could grow in this ungodly heat, but people couldn't.
Ron Mallory hated his barren yellow office with its view of razor ribbon -- topped fences punctuated with guard towers. The view wasn't much, but having an office at all, particularly one with a window, was a, vast improvement over working the floor in one of the units. Mallory didn't complain, but all the while, he busily plotted his own escape.
Assistant Superintendent Mallory had no intention of working in Corrections forever. It was Friday. Maybe sometime this weekend he'd find some time away from Arlene and the kids to work on his book. There was a wall in Chapter 11, some kind of story -- structure problem that made it impossible to move forward.
He took another swipe at his forehead with a damp paper towel and waited for a guard to bring Andrew Carlisle into his office.
"Damn legislature," he told a fly that sauntered lazily across the stacks of file folders on his desk. Why couldn't those idiots down in Phoenix find money enough to fix the prison's damn refrigeration units? The air -- conditioning always went on the fritz the minute the temperature climbed above 110.
Buildings in the capitol complex in Phoenix were plenty cool. He'd damn near frozen his ass off when he'd gone there as part of the official delegation begging the legislative committee for more prison money. They'd as good as said it didn't matter if it got hot for the prisoners. After all, "Prisoners were supposed to be punished, weren't they?"
"What about the guards?" Warden Franklin had countered. "What about the other people who work there?" "What about them?" the committee had said. They didn't give a shit about the worker bees. Nobody did.
Irritably, Mallory slapped at the fly, but it eluded him and flew over to the window just as Mendez, Mallory's assistant, knocked on the door and put his head inside the sweltering office. "Carlisle's here," Mendez said.