As if there weren’t already enough crime in tiny Polvo, Texas, trading-post owner Texana Jones, returning from root-canal work across the Mexico border, comes upon a dead body in a waiting cab. A whisper of her powerful acquaintance Gordon Suarez (Death of a Saint Maker, 1998) springs her from the pokey in plenty of time to find that her pickup, parked on the American side of the border, has been stolen (after its miraculous return, it’ll be run off the road, as Texana says, by the Holy Ghost). Still around the corner are the defacing of Texana’s store, a rash of poisoned horses, and the murder of nondenominational evangelist Electra Reaves. Not that Electra’s exactly an innocent lamb: her house is full of artifacts looted from Presidio County churches, and the religious medal she gives Texana seems to have a dark history of its own—perhaps tied to the powerful dynasty of ranching patriarch Federico Haro, or perhaps reaching back centuries to a martyred goat herder celebrated in old Federico’s reminiscences. With so many crimes and misdemeanors to account for (and more on the way), it’s a safe bet that the answers will be as tangled as the questions. Lovers of regionalism will still welcome this third dispatch from Martin’s colorful borderland, as will those with a taste for injustices by the bushel; others may think twice before knocking.