Fr. "Jake" Jakubowski, a 70-year-old Michigan priest temporarily assigned to a New Mexican village, helps Detective Sonia Mora investigate a fetus found in an irrigation sluice, which prompts reopening a cold case about the death of a wealthy rancher's wife. The picketing of a soldier's funeral that turns deadly; a brash anthropologist's excavation for Civil War Apache scout remains; and Mexican folk healing customs to cure a daughter of the debilitating effects of her father's Prolonged Grief Disorder, propel the plot amid a stunning landscape of contemporary New Mexico.
In a sequel to The Ghosts of Glorieta, Fr. "Jake" Jakubowski, a 70-year-old Michigan priest, is again embroiled in criminal activity at the fictional New Mexico village of Providencia. The discovery of a fetus in an irrigation sluice prompts Detective Sonia Mora to reopen a cold case involving the "accidental" death of a rancher's wife. His daughter, Dulci, struggles to escape the suffocating effects of her father's Prolonged Grief Disorder and a Mexican folk healer's treatments. A fundamentalist church's picketing of a soldier's funeral twice turns deadly for the priest; a brash anthropologist purports to have found remains of an Apache scout in a Civil War fort's cemetery; and a thwarted helicopter escape plan results in the establishment of a horse sanctuary that helps Dulci recover. Several village residents from Ghosts reappear amid a background of contemporary New Mexican secular and religious customs and locations.
"There is much to enjoy in this compelling mystery novel: Noyer's New Mexico setting is rich in descriptions, with a central theme of an irrigation sluice (acequia) -- the life blood of rural residents' livelihoods -- which is skillfully intertwined with bodies, superstitions and drama. A well drawn plot represents fictional Providencia's laborers, ranch hands, servants and townspeople, with the "haves" miserable in their luxurious setting, while the "have nots," including transplanted Michigan priest, Fr. Jake, are sustained by their work, religion and customs. A fetus discovered in the sluice prompts the reopening of a cold case and engages an ongoing mystery until the very end."
-- Carolyn Page, co-author Bones of Contention: A Maine Mystery
"After reading the Prologue of the second Fr. Jake Mystery, I knew something sinister would happen: under a blue September sky, an Arabian stallion being loaded into a trailer abruptly rears up and kicks out its hind legs; both horse and the female equestrian owner die. This accident sets the direction of the novel, which will engulf Father Jake thirteen years later. The author uses his skills to paint you into the New Mexico landscape, making readers one with the 70-year-old priest's parishioners in experiencing danger, local history, archaeological digs, folklore customs, contemporary Catholicism, and final resolution. Excellent "
-- Helen Robertson, artist and designer of www.Robertson-art.com.