In this prequel to the popular David Mapstone mysteries, author Jon Talton takes us back to 1999, when everything dot-com was making money, the Y2K bug was the greatest danger facing the world, and the good times seemed as if they would never end.
It was a time before David and Lindsey were together, before Mike Peralta was sherriff, and before David had rid himself of the sexy and mysterious Gretchen.
In Phoenix, its the sweet season and Christmas and the new millennium are only weeks away. But history professor David Mapstone, just hired by the Sheriffs Office, still finds trouble, chasing a robber into an abandoned warehouse and discovering a gruesome crime from six decades ago.
Mapstone begins an investigation into a Depression-era kidnapping that transfixed Arizona and the nation: the disappearance of a cattle barons grandsons, their bodies never found. And although the kidnapper was caught and executed, Mapstone uncovers evidence that justice was far from done. But this is no history lesson. The cattle barons heirs now run a Fortune 500 company and wield far more clout than a former-professor-turned-deputy. Then one of the heirs turns up dead....
Deputy sheriff David Mapstone's background as a history professor serves him well when he stumbles--quite literally--onto a very cold case in Talton's engaging fifth mystery (after 2006's Arizona Dreams), a prequel set in 1999. One night, after leaving a pro hockey game in Phoenix, Mapstone; his girlfriend, Lindsey Adams; and his boss, Mike Peralta, interrupt a carjacking. They pursue the perp into an abandoned warehouse, where Mapstone falls down an elevator shaft. At the bottom are the bodies of two small children, who turn out to be the Yarnell twins, kidnapped in the 1930s from the most powerful man in the region, cattle baron Hayden Yarnell. Talton does his usual competent job of depicting the history of Phoenix and the American West, in particular the greed that has driven the city's growth and the desert's demise. Mapstone is the kind of modern hero many readers dream of: intellectual but physical, tough but sensitive. (May)
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Poisoned Pen Press
May 14, 2007
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