Review of ASH CHILD by Peter Bowen
A MONTANA MYSTERY FEATURING GABRIEL DU PRE
St. Martin's Minotaur, April 2002
Wolf Mountain is dry and the fires are starting. It will be a fire of the century, Gabriel Du Pre knows. But when the fires actually start, there is more than simply nature. Du Pre may live in the boonies of Montana, but even the most remote part of America isn't immune to murder, arson, or drugs. When an old woman is murdered, Du Pre is thrust into a strange world where no one is exactly as they appear, but where the danger is incredibly real.
Author Peter Bowen (see other BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by this author) uses a powerful and distinctive voice to describe the lives of the Metis Indians and the ranchers who survive in the harsh lands of Montana. Du Pre relies on a combination of bull-headed bravery, investigating, and Native American magic to learn the truth. In Bowen's novels, the magic is real, and the result is often close to magic itself.
With its wealth of intriguing characters and its vivid descriptions of the land and people of Montana, ASH CHILD is a fine and compelling novel. I would have liked to see a stronger connection between the drug angle and the rest of the mystery, but it is hard to quibble with Bowen's work.
Purchase ASH CHILD from Amazon.com (hardback).