THE THIRTEENTH SKULL
Ramthun's third mystery to feature Colorado Springs homicide detective Eileen Reed offers few surprises and little suspense, which may explain why Putnam, the publisher of the previous two entries in the series (Ground Zero and Earthquake Games), isn't putting out this one. Reed and CIA analyst Lucy Giometti are enjoying a vacation before Reed's wedding in Wyoming when a corpse turns up on Reed's parents' property—that of an archeologist who's discovered evidence of contact between the local Plains Indians and the Aztecs. The murder investigation, however, soon gets sidetracked. After Reed's fiancé survives an attempt on his life that may be connected to attacks on military personnel involved with missile defense, the plot shifts into an unengaging cat-and-mouse game with a predictable resolution. (Sept. 30)
Forecast:Blurbs from Carolyn Hart and Margaret Coel, plus the author's existing fan base, should ensure respectable sales for a small press.
Release date: 10/01/2003