City of Saints by Andrew Hunt

bookcover.phpCity of Saints, written by Andrew Hunt, is a captivating mystery set in 1930 in Salt Lake City. In 2011 this detective story won the Tony Hillerman Prize which is awarded each year to a first-time author for the best mystery set in the southwest U.S. This novel is worthy of the accolades it has received. It is rich in atmosphere and historical detail. The mystery within a mystery is provocative and is made even more interesting because it is based on a true unsolved murder case.

Art Oveson, a young, insecure Mormon deputy, and Roscoe Lund, his coarse, non-religious partner, make an unlikely team to stand up to the local law enforcement hierarchies as they search for the barbarous killer of a beautiful socialite, Helen Pfalzgraf. The body count rises at every turn as the killer eludes discovery. Can the killer be brought to justice in this Utah valley known for faith and family unity? Or will the terrors that lie under winter’s cover of snow and secrets forever escape detection?

I enjoyed reading this mystery novel and was intrigued by the conclusions of the real life and fictional cases. There are some appalling mental images of a corpse and a little gritty language, but Art Oveson’s story carried me along with such heart and conviction that I could not put the book down. I hope that you will be intrigued by City of Saints.

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