Still jobless and looking for something to do while her resumé makes the rounds, historical archaeologist Nicolette “Nick” Scott joins her father, Elliott, the world’s leading Anasazi scholar, and Fremont Indian expert Dr. Reed Austin as they poke around Utah caves last entered by Hyrum Boyce at the turn of the last century. While the two men take pictures of the fabulous petroglyphs inside, Nick digs at Boyce’s base camp and unearths a 1937 Packard with letters locked in the trunk showing that FDR knew beforehand of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Are they authentic or forgeries to discredit FDR? And how did they get inside the Packard? Alternating chapters reveal that the vintage auto belonged to Boyce’s second-cousin Knute, who along with his girlfriend Nora robbed banks. Research in libraries and the Web indicate not only that Knute and Nora were maliciously gunned down as they tried to surrender, but that J. Edgar Hoover was on hand to watch, and within a week of the massacre everyone who might have seen the FDR material or suspected FBI involvement was dead. Meantime, Nick’s Internet hits have attracted the attention of a current FBI advisor to Presidential hopeful Nelson Bishop III, and the dig site is imperiled while storms rage, bodies drop as heavily as the rain, and Nick, Elliott, and the petroglyphs barely survive.
Davis, no stranger to contrived plots (The Return of the Spanish Lady, 2001, etc.), churns out another potboiler for her humorless distaff Indiana Jones. There’s plenty here for conspiracy buffs; others might give it a miss.