The Slickrock Paradox
A Silas Pearson, Red Rock Canyon Mystery by Stephen Legault
Review: Silas Pearson's wife has been missing for over three years. Some say she left him for another man. The authorities have given up on searching for her. But Silas believes she is still alive somewhere and is determined to find her, spending nearly every day of his life roaming the remote region of Utah's red rock country, where she was last seen. When he comes across a skeleton unearthed by a flash flood, he thinks his search is over … until the body is identified as that of a murdered young Hopi woman in The Slickrock Paradox, the first mystery in this series by Stephen Legault.
Kayah Wisechild. … She had a name and a family. But [FBI agent] Rain was wrong. He wished she hadn't told him. He wished that he could be left in peace to look for his wife and not be troubled by the murder of a young woman he had never met.
Silas would just as soon walk away from the investigation. Though he found the body and is, by definition, a "person of interest" to the officials involved, he has no connection to the dead woman. But he knows how important closure is to the family of a lost loved one, something he lacks himself, and agrees to help learn how Kayah Wisechild came to be on the Courthouse Wash hiking trail and more importantly, why someone thought her so dangerous that they had to kill her.
The Slickrock Paradox opens with a strongly written, vividly descriptive first chapter, which sets the style and tone for the rest of the book. The murder mystery itself has a solid foundation and doesn't wander too far afield as it develops, keeping the reader's attention on the questions of the whos and whys of what happened. There is a slight paranormal element here that is creatively weaved into the story, sometimes coming across as simple intuition on the part of a character, sometimes as a dream, and sometimes as something akin to Native American mysticism. It's never overwhelming and tends to enhance the mystery rather than detract from it. The Slickrock Paradox is a really fine start to this series, which will presumably continue with Silas Pearson as a lead character involved in new mysteries as he seeks the current whereabouts of his wife.
Acknowledgment: TouchWood Editions provided an ARC of The Slickrock Paradox for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The End of the Line
TouchWood Editions (Trade Paperback), September 2011
ISBN-13: 9781926971049; ISBN-10: 1926971043
Location(s) referenced in The Slickrock Paradox: Utah
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The Slickrock Paradox by Stephen Legault — A Silas Pearson, Red Rock Canyon Mystery
Publisher: TouchWood Editions
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $18.95