Bones of the Redeemed (A Southwestern Mystery) by Kari Bovee

A pit of corpses. An ancient cult. A quest for
redemption that could leave her dead… 

Synopsis -

New Mexico, 1952. Archaeology grad student Ruby Delgado is plagued by guilt after losing her son. So when her latest excavation drops her down a sinkhole filled with suspiciously mutilated bodies, she’s driven to bring the murderer to justice. But when digging deeper brings her dangerously close to a sinister religious sect, she could be their next sacrifice… Discovering some of the victims were crucified, Ruby pushes hard to give the evidence to the authorities. But when her trail crosses the path of a beaten man left for dead in the desert, she realizes she may be the only person who can save the community. Can Ruby stop the sacrifices and slay her inner demons, or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is a hair-raising standalone Southwestern mystery. If you like complex heroines, cult conflict, and hard-won redemption, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s grisly tale.

Review - 

The last book I reviewed by this author was a fiction story created around a historical character - Annie Oakley.  For The Bones of the Redeemed, Bovee again has chosen to offer a great fictional female character - Ruby Delgado. But this time around this smart, intelligent, strong, gifted woman is also a flawed character. She is driven by the death of her son which she feels fully responsible for.

After a few years of living in a bottle, she has stepped back to reclaim her career as an archaeologist. Her early success in the field, even though only a student, has created some jealousy within the tight community of academics. As a result, when she arrives to work a dig being run by Yates, a prominent archaeologist, she is not given a warm welcome.  This doesn't improve when she steps away from her assigned dig area and falls in a sink hole on top of a pile of corpses.  

What follows is a plot that takes the reader through a twisted web of deceit. Slowly she learns the secrets of the small town close by and of a secretive religious group there that has had several deaths in recent years.  Who is involved? Who is safe for her to confide in? Pete - also working the dig - has encouraged her to stay quiet and leave it alone. He is there to get answers about the death of his brother and is worried her efforts will ruin everything. 

Tossed off the site by Yates, she continues trying to find answers while living in town.   But as the danger and her drive to find answers grows, she finds she can no longer keep silent. Pete makes a decision to join the cult to try to get information from the inside, but it backfires in a way that could cost him his life. Can Ruby find help and arrive in time to save him?  

Bones of the Redeemed is an enjoyable read to tuck into at the end of the day.  And, as always, I love a strong, capable female lead character - even one with flaws. 

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Meet the Author - 

Previous Author Interview HERE!

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. 

An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

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