Title: Valley of Bones
Publisher: U.S.A.: William Morrow
Publication Date: 2005
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
First edition, first printing. Book and dust jacket very good. Some wear to top of spine. Dust jacket in Mylar sleeve. Signed by the author on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-18847976957
Synopsis: After a Sudanese businessman falls ten stories from his hotel-room balcony, Paz investigates and finds a most unlikely suspect - an otherworldly creature named Emmylou Dideroff who claims to commune with the holy saints. Her "Confessions", scribbled in a series of notebooks, tell a remarkable tale of a woman from the wrong side of the tracks - a thief, a drug dealer, a prostitute - who would be called into the service of God in a most unusual way. Might this "service" include the murder of the Sudanese businessman, whose knowledge of oil reserves may be contributing to African genocide? It is left to police psychologist Lorna Wise to determine whether Emmylou is legally insane. But, when people associated with the suspect start turning up dead, both Paz and Lorna begin to suspect that there's something much larger at stake than Emmylou's guilt or innocence - and that the search for justice might bring them up against an even more elemental force...
Review: This top-notch novel confirms Gruber's place as a gifted writer who stretches the conventional bounds of the genre by placing the mysteries of faith and religious experience and the complexities of the human mind as well as spirit at the center of his work. It's a taut, compelling whodunit that's as far from a typical detective procedural as good is from evil and a worthy follow-up to his acclaimed debut ( Tropic of Night) that also features Cuban-American cop Jimmy Paz. Here Gruber tells a mesmerizing tale of Emmylou Dideroff, who communes with saints and whose checkered past includes stints as a hooker, drug dealer, and the leader of a band of Sudanese freedom fighters. But did she kill the Arab businessman on a government "watch list" who plunged to his death from a Miami hotel? While that's the incident that brings her to Paz's attention, it's only one of his questions about this strange woman, whose unsettling "confessions" stir up the detective's confusion about his own deepest beliefs. Emmylou is as fascinating and fully realized as Jane Doe, the memorable protagonist of Gruber's first book--so too is Lorna Wise, the psychologist brought in to assess Emmylou's sanity, whose personal and professional lives are turned totally upside down by her involvement in the case and her relationship with Paz. This is a smart, riveting, wholly original and thoroughly fascinating book that's impossible to put down and leaves the reader with only one question--when is this author's next one coming out? --Jane Adams
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