Double Prey Review
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In the San Cristobal Mountains of New Mexico, a rare jaguar crawls into a cave with a bullet in its head and dies. Years later, Freddy Romero comes across the skullóbut thatís not all he finds. Later, after flipping his ATV while supposedly going too fast, he lies dead at the bottom of an arroyo. At the same time, his little brother teases a snake and ends up with the fang of a rattlesnake in his eye. Itís been a bad day for the Romero family.

Though it looks like a cut-and-dry case of recklessness turned tragic, Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman still seeks answers for Freddyís death. After talking with his girlfriend, Estelle discovers the exact location where Freddy found the jaguar skull. And, after investigating the cave, she finds the remains of a human. It seems that Freddy stumbled across something that somebody didnít want him to findóand it cost him his life.

  
 
With the help of retired police chief Bill Gastner, Estelle seeks to solve a murder thatís several years old. The case has long grown cold, but thereís still a lot to tell from the remains, and itís not long before she has a name and several possible motives for the death.

Itís amazing how some authors can create a character that readers are immediately drawn to. Author Steven F. Havill has done just that with Estelle Reyes-Guzman. Sheís smart, compassionate, and tough, and she doesnít shrink away from the dirty work. Sheís also tenacious about solving a crime. And those are some of my favorite traits in a character.

Populated with other interesting characters as well, Double Prey will draw you into this unique murder case thatís set in Posadas, New Mexico, where a dead body can go undiscovered for years in the vast mountains and arroyos of its rough terrain. So many questions arise about the man in the cave, whose remains are found face-to-face with the skull of a jaguar (the most obvious being: how did they end up in that position?). You definitely wonít want to stop reading until all of your questions are answered in the mysteryís astonishing conclusion.

Imagery of New Mexicoóbrought to life by the authorís skillful research and vivid imaginationóalong a meticulous plot and a great central character make Double Prey one of the best mysteries Iíve read so far this year. You simply donít want to miss this one!

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