cover image Death Waits in the Dark

Death Waits in the Dark

Mark Edward Langley. Blackstone, $15.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-5385-0778-0

Langley’s somber sequel to 2018’s The Path of the Dead finds former Marine Arthur Nakai at a Farmington, N.Mex., funeral home attending a service for one of his Marine buddies from Afghanistan, who recently shot himself, yet another victim of PTSD. Then Arthur gets a call from an old flame, Margaret Tabaaha, who screams, “Both my sons are dead!” Readers know from the opening chapter that a military-trained sniper has murdered two teenage boys. When Arthur and his police captain friend, Jake Bilagody, investigate, the trail leads them to an oil company doing fracking in the huge San Juan basin, resulting in serious health problems for the local Navajos, who have also been harassed by members of the company’s sinister security firm. The action builds to a bittersweet ending. Descriptions of the starkly beautiful New Mexico landscape contrast with the poignant picture of the state’s poor and alcohol-stricken native peoples. Tony Hillerman fans may want to check this one out. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Agency. (Aug.)