THE SPIRIT AND THE SKULL
by J. M. Hayes
Trade Pbk 978-1-4642-0285-8
Large Type Tpbk 978-1-4642-0283-4
Murder is unthinkable to The People – a Paleolithic tribe crossing Alaska. For The People, among the first undocumented immigrants to enter the Americas, murder isn’t merely tragic; it’s forbidden. Murder poisons the entire tribe and puts it at odds with nature, the Spirits, and the mighty Earth Mother. A murderer must be removed in order to set the world back in balance.
Raven is the aging Spirit Man to a band where a member has been garroted. Worse, withcraft is involved – another appalling violation of The People’s beliefs. A woman claiming to be the Earth Mother declares only Raven can solve the crimes and restore The People to harmony. But Raven isn’t a Spirit Man by vocation. He’s an agnostic – his band needed someone for the job and he needed to secure his place with them. He begins having dreams of a strange man holding his, the Spirit Man’s skull in his hands. How will a man who doubts the authenticity of The Earth Mother as a goddess satify her demands? What if she and the dreams of some future are both real and solving the crimes must lead to his death? An impossible situation becomes more terrible as Raven realizes he’s falling in love with a young woman of his band, who, he suspects, is the guilty party.
“In this entertaining and unusual mystery, J. M. Hayes gives us a fascinating protagonist who solves the crime with DNA testing, fingerprint technology, a gun or even a notebook! THE SPIRIT AND THE SKULL hits a home run with an interesting cast of would-be villains and a setting that tweaks the imagination. Prehistory was never more interesting, or sexier!” – Ann Hillerman award-winning author of SPIDER WOMAN’S DAUGHTER
Poisoned Pen Press
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