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Entertaining but unrealistic
on April 27, 2007
Faye Longchamp is on another archeological dig with her faithful friend Joe Wolf Mantooth in tow. I don't know why Joe tags along after her, especially when Faye starts dating a slick political lobbyist. I guess following Faye is Joe's unfortunate lot in life.
The archeology team hasn't been on site for a day before they instigate a confrontation that alienates both the local farmers and the indigenous Choctaw. Later that confrontation results in murder. As in Evan's previous books, Joe tops the list of likely murder suspects.
The story revolves around a new road, a pot field, an Indian mound, a county fair, cultural disagreements, a recent murder, and an old hate crime. Mary Anna Evans had to do a lot of complicated plotting to mix all those diverse things into one cohesive storyline. I'm not altogether sure she succeeded. Several portions of the book lagged seriously as the author tried to introduce new elements into the story. The county fair was a complete waste of time as was Evan's rewriting of old Indian legend. These old stories require a lot of detail and atmosphere, both are absent in this emotionless retelling.
The greatest flaw in the book was that the killer was obvious very early on. Sometimes knowing who the killer is doesn't matter, but in this case knowing is fatal to the enjoyment of the book. Another serious flaw; Evans has never been on an actual dig. She has Faye doing things with a trowel that a backhoe would struggle to accomplish.
The reason for the questions at the book's end escaped me. It seemed almost as though the author was trying to pass fiction off as serious research.