An Art Oveson Mystery by Andrew Hunt
Review: Art Oveson of the Salt Lake City Police Departmentís Missing Persons Bureau investigates a mysterious case of murder in Desolation Flats, the third mystery in this series by Andrew Hunt.
It is 1938, and while Europe is watching the rise of Hitler and his Nazis, Salt Lake City is once again hosting an auto-racing event at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Auto racers from around the world have travelled to the United States try to break the worldís speed record. Artís cousin, Hank Jensen. did a trial run in his racer, the Silver Arrow, with Art clocking him in at 238 MPH. British driver Clive Underhill, one of the first to arrive from overseas, was determined to beat that number. Cliveís major competitor was a German racer whose triumph would be a propaganda victory for the Nazis. Clive and his car, the Desert Lightening, were being watched closely by his younger brother Nigel, who would allow no one to go near them. Clive pulled on to the salty track and as he was picking up speed his car seemed to explode, flames filling the car. Clive, still inside, almost perished but Art ran to the car, crawled near the broken window, and risked his own life to pull Clive out of his car to safety. As a way of thanking him, Clive invited Art and his wife for cocktails and dinner at a posh restaurant that evening. Art hesitated for, as a Mormon, he neither drank any alcoholic beverages nor smoked. Too, his wife had not been feeling well for some time and would no doubt decline the invitation. But Art did go, and stayed to see Clive back to his hotel. It was a shock to hear that the next day Clive had disappeared and his brother Nigel was found murdered in their hotel room. Since this was partly a missing person case, Art and his team were called in. The FBI, including J. Edgar Hoover and Artís older brother, Frank, however, took over the case, missing person and all, because of the murder involved. Artís close friend and former partner in the police department, Roscoe Lund, now a private investigator who had been working for Clive, is determined to be the primary suspect in the murder. Art believes if his friend is apprehended he will be found guilty and probably killed by prejudiced cops before he could go to trial so helped him go into hiding until the true killer can be found. Even though he has been removed from the Missing Persons Bureau, Art continue to search for Clive.
This is an absorbing mystery from beginning to end. Art Oveson is a strong, very likeable and formidable character. The storyline moves back and forth between Artís missing person (and ultimately murder) investigation and his family life. His wife suffers from depression and his eldest daughter is in rebellion against their religion specifically and the state of America in general. Then, too, there is the question as to why Artís brother seems to be trying to thwart his efforts, even though he, too, is trying to solve the crime. The politics of the time, both international and domestic, and both play a role in the outcome. A most interesting entry in this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Desolation Flats.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Desolation Flats for this review.
Review Copyright © 2018 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
City of Saints
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), October 2012
ISBN-13: 9781250015792; ISBN-10: 1250015790
Location(s) referenced in Desolation Flats: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Desolation Flats by Andrew Hunt — An Art Oveson Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: November 2016
List Price: $26.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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