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Desolation Canyon: Detective Margaret Nolan #2    by P. J. Tracy order for
Desolation Canyon
by P. J. Tracy
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Desolation Canyon follows Deep into the Dark as the second in P. J. Tracy's mystery starring LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and damaged veteran Sam Easton. Sam's estranged wife Yukiko was murdered in the first episode.

This one opens in LA as Margaret struggles both with her brother's death in Afghanistan and with having had to kill someone on the job. Meanwhile, readers meet Marielle exploring an abandoned mine in the desert - she finds mummified bodies. Later, Sam is jogging in Desolation Canyon when he hears shots - nearby, a gas station attendant talks of aliens. The station owner (a friend of Sam's) is away, helping Marielle and her daughter Serena escape to LA.

When Margaret visits her parents, she learns that her mother has gone to a celebrity healing retreat with the Children of the Desert. Margaret accepts wealthy colleague Remy's invitation for a drink at the Hotel Bel-Air bar. A walk in the grounds reveals a corpse, of an attorney, linked to Russian organized crime. Remy has had an investigator searching for his sister Charlotte and learns she may have been with Children of the Desert.

You can see how all this might tie together. Toss in a few murders, money laundering, baby trafficking, and a well armed cult, and Margaret, Sam and Remy have quite a challenge on their hands. All escalates to an explosive showdown in the desert. An engrossing read!

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