Bone Walker (Anasazi Mysteries Series #3)

Bone Walker (Anasazi Mysteries Series #3)

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by Kathleen O'Neal Gear, W. Michael Gear
     
 

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W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, award-winning archaeologists and international bestselling authors, break extraordinary new ground in the riveting sequal to their bestselling The Summoning God. Bone Walker is more than a murder mystery, it is a psychological thriller filled with the action that have made this the dynamic duo of the

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Overview

W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, award-winning archaeologists and international bestselling authors, break extraordinary new ground in the riveting sequal to their bestselling The Summoning God. Bone Walker is more than a murder mystery, it is a psychological thriller filled with the action that have made this the dynamic duo of the historical. They have breathed life into the vanished world of the Anasazi, bringing out the spirit, the loves, and a mysterious world where mystery and horror lurk in every shadow, behind every door, sometimes right before you. The Gears invite you to follow them down the dark labyrinth of the serial killers mind in Book III of the Anasazi Mysteries.

Eight hundred years have passed since the Mogollon holy man was murdered in Flowing Waters Town. The threads of evil spun by Two Hearts are drawn across time to ensnare modern archaeologists Dusty Stewart and Maureen Cole. The "Wolf Witch" has killed archaeologist Dale Emerson Robertson, and Dusty and Maureen must unmask the murderer before he strikes again. But in so doing, Dusty will root out disturbing secrets about his own past that will cast his father's suicide in an unsettling light. With so many skeletons in the closet, even a bone expert like Maureen can be baffled...and the Wolf Witch is two steps ahead of them, drawing them relentlessly into his trap...

From the national award-winning archaeologists and international bestselling authors of The Visitant and The Summoning God comes a novel of unforgettable terror about a murder in America eight hundred years ago...and a power that transcends time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In their third cleverly constructed Anasazi mystery (following The Visitant and The Summoning God), the Gears continue the saga of Browser, Catkin, Stone Ghost and the rest of their small group as they seek to ensure their survival by ending the bloody strife that's tearing apart the various villages within the Anasazi territory. Paralleling the past story is a present-day murder mystery involving archaeologist Dusty Stewart, his family, friends and colleagues. The two narratives intertwine and interconnect in ways sometimes effective and sometimes irksome. The Gears' qualifications as archaeologists have given this series a strong foundation, and although this volume adds no new insights, the background is again superbly drawn. Browser's desperate attempts to form alliances and to hunt down and slay the evil Two Hearts give the war chief a chance to display his great cunning and bravery. And Dusty is forced to confront a great many personal demons as he struggles to solve a witchcraft-related murder that could lead to more deaths. Browser's resourcefulness makes him a truly engaging character, while the identity of the witch/murderer Dusty seeks remains well hidden to the end. The Gears' extensive bibliography provides documentation for their use of witchcraft, cannibalism and the rise of conflicting religious beliefs, as well as the more mundane aspects of 12th-century Native-American life in New Mexico. (Jan. 3) FYI: Maps, not seen by PW, should prove helpful as the ancient and modern stories occupy the same geography but employ different names. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Continuing their Anasazi series (The Visitant, 1999, etc.), the Gears bury New Mexico archaeologist Dale Emerson Robertson upside down in a Chaco Canyon kiva pit, slice off the soles of his feet, drill a hole in his head so his soul can be sucked out, and twine him up in a hoop of yucca. Since the canyon is federal parkland, the FBI steps in, but Dale's adopted son Dusty insists his death was a ritual murder that will never be solved by White Man reasoning. Owls hoot, dead souls whisper, and symbols of el basilisco appear, along with smarmy folk from Dale's past, including the mother who abandoned Dusty when he was only six and one of her ex-husbands. Meanwhile, in alternating chapters describing life at the Chaco site 800 years ago, the Made people (led by elder Stone Ghost and his nephew Browser), the First People (loyal to evil Two Hearts and the stunning Shadow), and the White Moccasins (assassins without pay) are clubbing each other to death and desperately seeking a soul-protecting turquoise wolf amulet. Browser, who becomes an ace tracker, military tactician, and diplomat, finds love, vanquishes two witches, and brings peace. Centuries later, Dusty, after absorbing Dale's journals, heeding his friend Magpie's visions, and being deterred from vengeance by the estimable anthropologist Maureen Cole, faces down present-day "Wolf Witch" murderer Kwewur in a wrap-up that loosely ties together ancient and modern events.
From the Publisher

“There are many fascinating mysteries within Bone Walker, but it is the vibrant and perceptive panorama on the Anasazi culture that makes this novel stand out amidst the crowd of archaeological who-done-its.” —The Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312877422
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
11/21/2001
Series:
Anasazi Mysteries Series, #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.51(d)

Read an Excerpt

BONE WALKER

CHAPTER 1

Sun Cycle of the Great Horned Owl The Falling River Moon

 

 

FETID BREATH CARESSES my cheek as Death, the Blue God, leans over my shoulder to peer into my eyes.

I turn away to stare at this place where they have carried me. I lie in a rock-capped overhang where wind and water have undercut the dirty brown sandstone. To my right, against the wall, I see the piled litter of an old pack rat nest. Firelight flickers across the rough surface of the rock. Shadows leap. Shadows live on light.

The Blue God watches me, waiting, a hunger keening in her souls.

Five figures, wrapped in split-turkey-feather blankets, lie in a semicircle as if to protect me from the night and the bone-chilling wind.

The Blue God shifts, and I feel her need. Her craving flows through my bones and muscles like the tingling charge of a rubbed fur blanket. With each painful breath I take, she hunches like a starving coyote, waiting to leap on my breath-heart soul when it slips ever so lightly from my body.

The Blue God draws an expectant breath, and fear draws patterns along my age-withered muscles. I wait for her with anticipation; my loins tingle, the expectation of her caress as she devours me is like that of sexual release.

But I fear what comes after: the journey down the Trail of Sorrows where Spider Woman waits. There, beside her eternal fire, her nimble feet dance on theashes of evil ... of those who have gone before me.

My hand still burns with the feel of the turquoise wolf—the Spirit amulet. He was my salvation. He would have led me through the maze, past the monsters, and down the correct trails to the Land of the Dead. The War Chief, Browser, tore the wolf from my hand. I searched for many sun cycles before I found the precious wolf and removed him from the dead Night Sun's mummified neck. May her soul mix with those tortured ashes under Spider Woman's feet. She brought the First People to this: Ruin. Pain. Death. She was the last great ruler of the Straight Path Nation. She gave up everything to marry one of the Made People: a lowly War Chief.

Her legacy to me should have been leadership of the Straight Path Nation. Instead all that she left me was hatred of all that was ... and is. Most of all, hatred of myself and this world.

I have fought the new gods, the hideous half-human and half-animal katsinas. For that, Spider Woman should thank me, but her gratitude is as fickle as Wind Baby's when he sucks the last moisture from a parched cornfield.

Unlike Spider Woman, the Blue God cares not a whit for my actions. The Blue God, like me, is driven by an unwholesome appetite. She takes, sucking down the souls of the dying in an endless orgy of gluttony. I understand her desperate craving, for I have had my own.

The War Chief, Browser, asked, "How could you do it?" He does not know the ecstasy that thrilled every bone, muscle, and tissue, as I shot my hot seed into the flesh of my flesh. The gods, jealous as they are, forbid incest because it smacks of the immortal. Through it, a man can live forever.

I cough, and pain dances in my chest on feathery feet. Bright red blood seeps into my wounded lungs as broken ribs grate against each other.

The Blue God extends her muzzle, sniffing at my bloody mouth.

Is it time?

I struggle to maintain the hold on my breath-heart soul. I am drawn, lured forward by my wish to feel the Blue God's teeth, to know that ecstasy of release as I slide down her silky throat to the warmth of her stomach. I, too, have eaten souls, swallowed their meat, fusing their flesh with mine.

A tear forms on my eyelid, silvering the firelight and blurring my vision. Gods, I want this so much!

But the fear is stronger. Before I can experience that burst of relief, I must have the sacred turquoise wolf to lead me to salvation. He knows the way of the First People, when, after death, the breath-heart soul meets that forked trail. To the left lies the Sun Trail that leads to the Land of the Dead. There, I can spend eternity with my ancestors: the First People who climbed from the underworlds during the Age of Emergence and followed the Great North Road to the sunlight.

Without the turquoise wolf to guide me, I will be tricked into turning right, down the Trail of Sorrows. The smoke that I see—thinking it that of my ancestors' hearths—will rise from Spider Woman's pinon pine fire. As I approach, she will ensnare me and burn me into the ash she dances upon.

A wavering form detaches from the darkness beyond the sheltering rock. The Blue God moans in frustration as my daughter walks gracefully into the light of the fire. She stops, the wind teasing her long black hair. Wind Baby presses the yellow fabric of her dress against those full breasts and accents the sensual curve of her hip. As her eyes meet mine I see the question, the longing. She, too, is intimate with the Blue God. Is that the excitement I see reflected in her large dark eyes? Are they entwined like lovers in rapturous anticipation of my death?

I wet my bloody lips and say, "I will not die today."

I see her carefully masked disappointment. Unlike me, she has never learned to curb her appetite. Her need frightens me. For all that I am, she is more, haunted, the sister of the Blue God. My daughter runs her tongue over her full red lips, wetting them sensually.

She says nothing as she steps gracefully to my side and lowers herself. I catch her scent, smoky, hot from running through the night to reach me. I close my eyes against the pain in my chest. Her breath is warm on my cheek; her tongue tickles my lips as she licks the clotted blood away.

The warmth of her body next to mine is a tonic.

It reminds me ... there is much to live for.

Copyright © 2001 by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

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Meet the Author

Kathleen O'Neal Gear is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the federal government's Special Achievement Award for "outstanding management" of our nation's cultural heritage.

W. Michael Gear, who holds a master's degree in archaeology, has worked as a professional archaeologist since 1978. He is currently principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants.

The Gears, whose First North American Series and Anasazi Mystery Series, are both international as well as USA Today bestsellers live in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

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