The Spirit and the Skull

The Spirit and the Skull

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*Starred Review* Hayes takes a break from his Mad Dog and Englishmem series to bring readers a unique twist on the historical mystery: a Paleolithic detective story. The tale begins with a tribe called the People, led by Raven, an elder and spiritual guide, in the midst of a migration across Alaska to what, centuries hence, will become the continental U.S. The journey is rigorous, but the real trouble comes from within: one of the People is found dead, garroted and with evidence of witchcraft left near his body. Raven must tend to the dead man and perform purification rites to restore harmony to the group. He does his best, but it is difficult because he is secretly agnostic. Strange dreams plague him: a stranger holds his skull, and a woman identifying herself as the Earth Mother tells him that only he can solve the crimes. Matters become still more difficult when Raven finds that the young woman he loves may be the perpetrator. Dealing with themes of primitive religion, social relationships, and even women’s rights, this fascinating tale, which adroitly straddles both mystery and fantasy genres, will attract readers from both camps. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews

Released by Poisoned Pen Press on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

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