You wouldn't expect to find many dead women with their noses cut off. But since the mutilation is a traditional Native American punishment for adultery, the message seems clear when Sandra Moore's noseless corpse is discovered outside her La Costa settlement. The Cedar Rapids police, ignoring a more puzzling mutilation--why was Sandy's arm amputated as well?--zero in on checkered blackjack dealer David Rhodes, who has some powerful enemies among the town's bigwigs, as the obvious suspect. But one lone officer, David's sister Cindy, can't believe her brother's guilty--even when her colleagues find the identically mutilated corpse of Karen Moore, Sandy's sister and partner in a prostitution ring, stashed in the trunk of David's car. So she drags psychological profiler Robert Payne (Blood Moon, 1994) into the case, little realizing how closely every step of her investigation is echoing--in a series of extended parallels that are the strongest part of the book--an equally shocking crime dating back to 1903, one that portends an equally grim conclusion. Though veteran Gorman's forays into the past don't have anything like the power of Sharyn McCrumb's, his narrower range still has plenty of room for some sad poetry and some lonely prairie music.