Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Rec From My Reading Past

It's beginning to feel like summer-time outside and I love it! I just wish I had my parent's pool these days as well. I was 15 or 16 when they put it in and I can't even guess at how many hours I spent in it before I moved. The only bad thing about a pool in Louisiana, though, is that they tell you you won't need a heater and they lie. It rains so much that the pool would stay pretty darn cold during the hottest parts of the summer because of the number of thunderstorms we were getting. 

Anyway, I guess I'm a very reminiscent person because these old recs come to me at times that remind me of when I first read them. I don't recall exactly what prompted me to purchase this particular book, but I do know that I was working at the bookstore at the time. The authors, Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, are probably best known for their First American books, but their genetics thrillers and this trilogy are right up my alley as a reader!

The Visitant, first in the Anasazi Mystery trilogy, was released in hardcover in 1999. The Summoning God, book 2, was released the following year, and Bone Walker, the final installment, hit shelves in 2001. 

Here's a bit of what PW had to say about The Visitant:

In the upper Sonoran desert of present-day New Mexico, a charismatic yet troubled archeologist named Dusty Stewart is unearthing a mystery that began about A.D. 1200. While excavating a site of the Chaco Anasazi Indians, Stewart and his team discover mass graves containing the bodies of young women, all with their skulls smashed. Using flashbacks to merge past and present into a relatively seamless tapestry, the Gears depict an ancient, waning Anasazi people plagued with drought, declining resources and rampant tuberculosis. Ash Girl, the wife of the tribal war chief, Browser, has been found dead her head crushed and a wolf mask at her side. Young girls continue to disappear from surrounding villages, and Browser, with the aid of his shrewdly eccentric uncle, searches for a serial killer. Meanwhile, in the present, a team of archeologists and anthropologists, most notably Dr. Maureen Cole, who's the heroine of this series launch, are also trying to solve the puzzle of the graves, using not only 20th-century technology, but, in addition, extrasensory perception that links them to the spirits of the past. Breathtaking descriptions evoke the harsh beauty of the desert in both winter and summer, while the lucid, erudite historical perspectives are informed by the authors' own extensive archeological experience. 

If you love archaeological thrillers/mysteries, you have got to check out this trilogy. All three books were rereleased in early 2008 and are still available. And, if you really like them, you can follow-up with People of the Silence, the Gear's First Americans title about the Anasazi. It's not technically part of the trilogy, but they still sort of go together. 

One of my favorite elements of this series is the way the authors go back and forth between the past and the present. In the present, you have Dusty and Maureen trying to uncover the truth behind the evidence they are uncovering and in the past you get the actual event right alongside all of their theories. For me, it's the perfect combination of historical fact and modern-day thriller -- makes me feel like I'm learning something while I'm having fun. I really wish that the Gears would do more of their thrillers, they really were fantastic. If you like these, you should check out their genetics books, Raising Abel and Dark Inheritance. And, of course, if you're a big fan of historicals, you should check out their multitude of First Americans books, each one focusing on a different Native American tribe. 

1 comment:

Vickie said...

I had this forever on Mt Git'r'Read with a bookmark in it from when I started to read it and must have got sidetracked. I have to dig it out again with your reminder in my cranium.