Who’s salting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with dead bodies?
Porcupine City Deputy Steve Martinez is called to a remote farm where a pair of randy teenagers have just had their coitus interrupted by the discovery of a headless, handless corpse. The otherwise well-preserved body looks to have been stolen from a funeral parlor. Steve views the matter more as a curiosity than a crime. After all, he has a lot on his plate. Facing a tough election for county sheriff against arrogant incumbent Eli Garrow, he’s struggling to befriend Tommy Standing Bear, the newly adopted son of his longtime love Ginny. Steve and Tommy’s common Indian heritage—Steve’s a Lakota and Tommy an Ojibwe—doesn’t break the ice, but a new puppy helps. More bodies popping up in unusual places lead Steve to a shrewd hunch, which Tommy’s input helps confirm: Someone is engaged in “geocaching”—hiding items in obscure places for others to find using their wits and their GPS. Come election day, Steve narrowly defeats Garrow, who eschews a concession speech, instead bitterly declaring, “It’s not over.” When one of the obscurely cached bodies appears unprofessionally treated, Steve, suspecting murder along with mayhem, steps up his investigation.
The subplots in Steve’s third case (A Venture into Murder, 2005, etc.) are forgettable, but the central mystery is inspired, and Kisor’s prose remains at a high level.