Poisoned by God's Flesh: A Peter Romero Mystery by David E. Knop
Cochiti Police Officer Peter Romero finds the teen daughter of his former love, Adelina, poisoned by Psilocybe Mexicana, or “God’s Flesh,” but evidence leads off the reservation. Against the demands of his wife, Costancia, and warnings by the FBI, Romero pursues the case. A series of outwardly unrelated events: a drug sting gone bad, the brutal murders of innocents and police, and the kidnapping of Costancia and Adelina point Romero to the most intricate yet violent confrontations of his career.
Romero’s unauthorized investigation leads him into the supernatural domain of an otherworldly Navajo shaman who guides Romero to an al-Qaeda plot. Romero tells local FBI agents who immediately consider him a prime conspirator. Unable to reveal the magic of the shaman as his source, Romero is charged with violation of national security laws. With Romero jailed, a rogue cartel enforcer, John Michael Ellis, the teen’s killer, is able to elude scrutiny and hijack a top-secret nuclear weapons carrier.
Jean Reel, the only FBI agent who believes Romero’s story, releases him and risks her career. Assisted by the shaman, Romero hunts for the stolen carrier on a rocky trail that twists and turns between Navajo sorcery and white man’s avarice. The shaman goads Romero to endure beyond his physical limits and demands he accept death as a friend.
Romero tracks Ellis through the merciless deserts and hills of the Navajo reservation only to discover a second cartel assassin dogging his every move. To save Costancia and Adelina, Romero must ally with his stalker to recover the nukes. When their plan is aborted, he becomes the target. Romero foils the al-Qaeda/cartel plan, but becomes estranged from his wife when the case raises disturbing questions about another lawman once beyond reproach, her brother.
Romero survives by defeating his fear of death and summoning the powers of a hidden realm. This new empowerment brings purpose to his hardships and he realizes his strength lies in the spirit world.