Artifacts of Death by Rich Curtin
A Murder Mystery in Utah's Canyon Country

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Synopsis

Events which took place in 1938 lead to the present-day killing of a ranch hand in the remote canyon country near Moab, Utah, a mecca for outdoor adventure seekers. The only clue besides a 9-mm slug in the victim's head is an ancient-Indian potsherd stuck into his chest.


   
Deputy Sheriff Manny Rivera is assigned the case and judges that it's likely related to a drug deal gone bad. But he's actually up against an intelligent and cunning adversary driven by greed who's discovered a long-forgotten cave containing a collection of rare museum-quality Indian artifacts. Local politicians and merchants are exerting strong pressure on the sheriff for a quick resolution to the case as the killing is threatening to disrupt the upcoming tourist season, Moab's sole source of economic activity. After all, who would want to explore the back country with a killer on the loose out there?


   
In pursuit of the villain, Rivera takes the reader on a journey involving an unscrupulous artifact dealer, a fortune in ancient-Indian pots, a university laboratory, a home for the elderly, a ranch with an important secret, and a man who deeply regrets a decision he made.


   
In the end, Rivera faces a moral crisis: Should he enforce the law or serve the cause of justice? And a woman learns the answer to a question that's been haunting her for seventy years.



The story provides the reader with a tightly woven plot, a strong sense of place, and an entertaining cast of characters. For readers already familiar with southeast Utah, vivid landscape descriptions will give them a sense of re-entering the land of high-desert canyons, mesas mountains, and rivers.
 

About Rich Curtin

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Rich Curtin became infatuated with the high desert at an early age. Having lived part of his life in Moab, Utah, he has spent many enjoyable days and nights hiking, jeeping, rafting, and camping out in the backcountry of the Four Corners region. He is a retired research executive and resides in San Antonio, Texas.
 
Published February 26, 2011 by CreateSpace (an Amazon company). 305 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Deputy Sheriff Manny Rivera is assigned to the case of a ranch hand found with a bullet hole in his head.

Aug 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Artifacts of Death: A Murder ...

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