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Artifacts of Death

Artifacts of Death by Rich Curtin

Reviewed by L. Bennett

A cowboy is found murdered along a popular trail in Utah's La Sal Mountains and the Grand County Sheriff is getting a lot of pressure from the local tourism businesses to quickly solve the case before it causes economic harm. The case is assigned to a deputy named Manny Rivera whose initial investigation provides very little information and almost no clues to follow--just a fragment from an ancient Native American ceramic vessel. Tenacious Manny develops more leads and soon another body is discovered, also murdered. Following the evidence, the deputy heads to a remote canyon to find a cave at the same time another man is looking for the same place. Both men are armed but only one of them knows the other is in the area.

This novel is actually the first one Rich Curtin published in the Manny Rivera series, all set in southeastern Utah. I've read others and the fact that I did so out of order and still enjoyed the books should be good news for those of you who can't always get them in the right order. It was a very quick read, entertaining, peppered with interesting people, a romantic back story, and a good plot twist.

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