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On Deadly Ground    by Michael Norman Amazon.com order for
On Deadly Ground
by Michael Norman
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Environmentalist David Greenbriar is bushwhacked in a remote canyon near Kanab, New Mexico, and his body hung from a barn. Bureau of Land Management Ranger J.D. Books is to help Kane County Sheriff Charley Sutter solve the crime.

The dead man's widow had been having an affair with a local man, Lance Clayburn and, of course, the eyes of law rest upon him. But wait. There are others well qualified for a line in the list of suspects. Two groups, the EEWA and the CFW, are at odds as to how government land should be used. The EEWA wants it kept green to avoid roads and mining that would pollute virgin land. The CFW wants the land to continue as grazing for their cattle, and to open the large federally owned area for commercial use ostensibly for the good of the majority but ultimately to benefit their members.

As I read this intriguing mystery, I was silently seething at the greed portrayed. The author sure got my dander up. And, in so doing, kept my interest while I hoped the bad guys got what was coming to them. Michael Norman has managed to highlight real and current problems, twisting murder into the mix - and done so very well. Don't miss this cleverly written novel, with believable characters and a backdrop to enjoy along the way. On Deadly Ground is a good mystery.

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