Bone Walker (Anasazi Mysteries Series #3)by Kathleen O'Neal Gear, W. Michael Gear
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/i>/i>… See more details below
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.
“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
Read an Excerpt
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 wolfthe 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 seethinking it that of my ancestors' hearthswill 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
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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