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Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Scorpion's Tail by Preston & Child

 

I'm late to the Preston & Child bandwagon and I'd like to kick myself for missing out on all of their books all these years. They were always books I meant to read, but never got to--now I'm making a conscious effort to add them to my reading list. 

The Scorpion's Tail is the second in the Nora Kelly series. The first, Old Bones, grabbed me and made me an instant fan. If you want to read my review from September, 2019, click here.

In The Scorpion's Tail, we find FBI agent Corrie Swanson back in Albuquerque, still learning the ropes as a junior agent. She's still trying to prove herself and feels like she's failing. Until an interesting find pops up, and she's assigned to investigate. It seems like a job that's just to get her out of the way, but it turns out to be much, much bigger than anyone could image. 

Corrie travels to the ghost town of High Lonesome with Sheriff Watts to investigate the finding of a mummified corpse in the basement of one of abandoned buildings. Sheriff Watts (who wears two six-shooters) surprised a looter a few days before, and after a quick gun battle, spotted the corpse and called the FBI. Looting ancient burial grounds and abandoned mining towns is big business in New Mexico; toss in tales of lost Spanish gold and it quickly becomes dangerous and deadly. 

Corrie calls in Nora Kelly, an archaeologist in Santa Fe, to excavate the area around the corpse and help figure out if this is a recent death or much older. Nora is reluctant to help, but she's quickly pulled into the case when the corpse and what they find on the corpse blows the case wide open. Corrie and Nora are plunged into a case that could get them killed. The players involved are BIG, and involves many layers of the history of New Mexico.

Oh gosh I wish I could say more, but it would give things away. It's so darn good, and the unraveling kept me glued to the pages late into the night. It also made me a bit homesick for New Mexico. I was lucky to visit New Mexico (Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque) numerous times when my brother and sis-in-law lived there. It has a magical, haunting quality to it that it hard to describe. It is vividly stunning and truly is the "land of enchantment".  This novel brought it all back--the smell of piñon, the bright colors, the outstanding views for miles and miles. Don't get me started on the food! 

I've read two Preston & Child novels, and loved both of them. I am a big fan of thrillers/mysteries that involve history and archaeology. Combine that with myths and legends, and I'm all in. I am also a big fan of novels that have intelligent, strong women as main characters. You don't have to read Old Bones to read The Scorpion's Tail, but I would heartily recommend you read both. If you're a fan of James Rollins, you will love Preston and Child. 

Rating: 5/6 for a fantastic novel that combines New Mexican history, myth, and Native American culture into one hard to put down thriller. I can't wait for the next in the Nora Kelly series! 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 


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