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The Spirit and the Skull    by J. M. Hayes order for
Spirit and the Skull
by J. M. Hayes
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A Paleolithic tribe - the People are in the process of migrating across Alaska to the Americas, in order to escape the harsh winters of the far North. They are stopped in their tracks when it is discovered that one of their band has been garroted.

Murder!! The People have very strong beliefs. Murder poisons the whole tribe, puts the tribe at odds with nature, the Spirits and Mother Earth. It is believed that witchcraft is involved with the murder. The killer must be found to make things right with the Spirit world.

Raven is an aging Spirit Man who begins to dream that a stranger holds his skull. He believes his dream means that he must solve the crime. A tough chore. He is sure that his dreams are real. But can he do this? And will the young woman he loves return his love? Or is she possibly the one that he seeks?

The plot of The Spirit and the Skull by J.M. Hayes is an intriguing one, making me glad I live today and not back in that age. Trying to be a detective back then would have been an impossible task. However, the action slowed down as I read further. Trying to imagine living in those times was fascinating, but not enough to hold my complete attention.

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