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Scalping the Red Rocks Paperback – July 1, 2010
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"An exciting, well-written page-turner of a mystery, which will keep you guessing as you slowly learn more about each of its colorful, complex characters...five full stars out of five!"
-- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
"With eco-terrorists, wildfire and a shocking scalping, SCALPING THE RED ROCKS rips the mask off the superficial New Age haven of Sedona, Arizona, to reveal its darker side, in a don't-put-it-down mystery that will keep you guessing right up to its stunning climax. A winner!"
-- Kris Neri, author of REVENGE FOR OLD TIMES' SAKE
"Fans of Fingering the Family Jewels and Devil's Bridge will delight in the skillful merging of main characters in Scalping the Red Rocks, but this novel also stands on its own as a compelling mystery."
-- Keith Pyeatt, author of STRUCK and DARK KNOWLEDGE
"Though the novel conveys a vivid sense of place, its chief characters thus are largely outsiders feeling their way in a culture that appears familiar but is actually alien to them. The novel is crisply plotted. I especially admire how the author uses red herrings in ingenious ways."
-- Drewey Wayne Gunn, Lambda Literary
"Greg Lilly gives us some unforgettable characters and his ability to create them is amazing. The residents of Sedona are the kind of people you will never forget."
-- Amos Lassen, Literary Pride
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The mystery is solved; the book ends, but the characters and the conflicts stay with you. Well done, Mr. Lilly!
They're off to meet Ruby's realtor, who also is involved in the land deal, but are shocked to find him brutally murdered (and scalped) in a condo he was to show them. The routine police questioning over, Derek and Ruby try to meet some of the locals, including Myra, a banker handling the financing for the development, and her best friend, Topher, who kindles a mutual attraction to Derek. When a local Native American, Hawk, is brought in for questioning by the police, Topher is quick to rally to his aid, which involves Derek in checking out some strange relationships between the dead realtor, his materialistic ex-wife, and recent girlfriend, Clarity Received, who heads a mystical cult which may be involved in setting fires to discourage the development of "sacred" land. Add in a former child star with connections to several of these characters, a possible illegal drug operation, and some kinky sex, and the murder is seen in perspective as just a small part of a much larger plot, involving many in this small town.
Bringing back Derek and Aunt Ruby (from his masterpiece "Fingering the Family Jewels"), Lilly now teams them up with Topher and Myra ("Devil's Bridge") in a story that shows what happens when small-town minds and egos get greedy, clashing with development-phobic preservationists and self-serving business interests. "Scalping the Red Rocks" is an exciting, well-written page-turner of a mystery, which will keep you guessing as you slowly learn more about each of its colorful, complex characters. And, as an Arizonan, I can tell you that Lilly (who lived and worked in Sedona for several years) has absolutely nailed the prevailing mindset of many longtime residents of that town, making the mystery even more realistic to me. I'll kick the red dust off my boots, and give this five full stars out of five!
- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
I must admit I was suprised by what happened I was shocked quite a plot twist.
I wonder how much of the characters opinions of Sedona and it occupants are fiction or fact.