Over the years, when the most easily identified suspect had been arrested with no further investigation for any others, Tempe had investigated murders on her own time, sometimes at the peril of her job or even her life, until she ferreted out the truth and the guilty party.
Tempe Crabtree returns in Invisible Path, the eighth in author Marilyn Meredith’s series featuring the Native American deputy stationed in the small town of Bear Creek, California in the San Joaquin Valley.
In this outing, set against the backdrop of the approaching Christmas season, Tempe finds her plans to relax with her family interrupted by two seemingly unrelated events: the murder of a young Indian man near the Bear Creek Recovery Center, and the appearance of a group of para-military activists in the woods surrounding the Bear Creek Reservation.
Though most on the reservation seem ready to blame newcomer Jesus Running Bear for the murder, Tempe has serious doubts as to his guilt. Those doubts are amplified when she learns the victim was a known bully with a hair trigger temper and more than a few enemies.
Meanwhile, Tempe also has to determine if the para-military group is just a bunch of solider wannabes playing weekend warrior, or if they represent a more serious threat to the citizens of Bear Creek. Add to that the involvement of the Native American legend of the Hairy Man and Tempe has her hands full.
Author Marilyn Meredith’s infusion of Native American legends and traditions into the story elevates Invisible Path to something more than just a police procedural. The reader truly gets a feel for the balancing act Tempe engages in every day between her job as a law enforcement officer and her Native American heritage. If you like murder mysteries / police procedurals but are looking for a change of pace from yet another one set in a big city, Invisible Path is a nice alternative with believable, well developed, sympathetic characters and a fascinating setting.
Invisible Path is available from Mundania Press (ISBN: 978-1606592397).