Set on a plantation in northern Peru, against the backdrop of El Niño and the resulting storms and floods, Meeting the Dead tells the story of two young Americans who get caught up in a blood feud between two powerful Peruvian families.
The plot revolves around John Hauser, a Texan who accompanies his friend David Leroy on a journey of discovery to South America. John must decide whether to sell the ranch his father has left him or to keep a deathbed promise to his father and return home to work the land.
While in Peru, John forges a relationship with local landowner Heim Ulmson and gets involved in Heim's struggle to keep his plantation from being stolen by a prominent banker, Don Enrique de la Cruz. As John finds himself drawn into the fight between the Ulmson and de la Cruz families, he becomes romantically involved with Heim's beautiful neighbor, Linda de la Piedra.
David also pursues Linda, causing a rift between the two best friends. As the storms worsen and the floodwaters rise, John discovers supernatural elements to the blood feud between Heim and Don Enrique, and finds himself being forced to commit murder by a means he never imagined possible.
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Soon after I started reading Meeting the Dead, by the time I finished the opening chapter about the white, blue-eyed crocodile 'waiting in the sun at the edge of the pond,' I realized I had already been drawn into a plot so propulsive I would have a hard time putting the book down before I finished it. And that's precisely what happened. I read the entire novel in the stretch of a day and a half with a break for only three fitful hours of sleep. Rare indeed is a novel which successfully balances electric entertainment with the rigors of unquestionable literary excellence. Meeting the Dead is just that: a haunting, beautifully written tale scintillate with completely believable characters, a palpable sense of place, and a riveting, propulsive plot, a tale so artfully shaped by the author that it is seamless. The murder which takes place near the book's end is unlike any I have ever read in literature, inevitable yet suspenseful, brought off to perfection with a chilling equanimity of action and resolve. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!