I actually finished this yesterday-- so I read it in less than 24 hrs, but I couldn't sleep until I found out what happened! Oh, I tried to bookmark it and tell myself I needed rest, but when sleep eluded me, I would continue to read; when I got to the last 100 pages, I said "Oh heck with it.... I am obviously not going to be able to sleep until I finish this)... so, yes, I thought it was a very good thriller /mystery.
Fox Walker is a Native American who has helped the police in his area on cases to help track a victim or suspect, and he has just been asked to help with his most unusual request from them he has ever had-- to track to make sure there is NO ONE there. It is a region of some dense forest that has always been part of the Shoshone sacred grounds, but for a number of years has been privately owned. Locals have always been sort of spooked by that area and avoided it if they could, but lately there have been reports of seeing someone (? or something) walking around in there... perhaps it is connected with a recent murder that has had no leads? So Fox is sent to try to find out the truth....
There has also been a serial killer operating for the last 2 years in multiple states and has eluded law enforcement. The killer always leaves a very distinctive pattern carved on the victim's body before death, a design you might say, with a new victim every 3 months. The authorities are at a loss because they still have no leads. What they do know is that his victims of choice are blond, female and work in some way connected with art-- those criteria along with his distinctive design on the bodies have caused the law and media to nickname him "The Art Critic".
Fox discovers that the "phantom" in the woods is not anything supernatural, but a young woman who can remember anything past 6 months ago. She has lived in a cave in the woods for the past 6 months, and he is bewildered by what he observes. She is a young, blond white woman with a grasp of the Shoshone language and will switch during talking from English to Shoshone and back again, but what is odd is that she mispronounces the words as if she learned them from a book, but she understands concepts about the Shoshone culture that most non-Shoshone generally wouldn't know. He is also puzzled that she has been able to survive those 6 months in a cave with no contact of any kind with the outside world and with nothing modern to help her and her obvious knowledge of survival skills, but when he observes her doing something regarding one of those skills, it is obvious she is a novice in many ways. Fox is bewildered, and add to that the weird designs on her skin and the unusual knife and 1 earring she has.
So much suspense and unexpected twists, that this book kept me guessing, and like I said, unable to sleep until my curiosity of the outcome was satisfied. I liked the characters, and thought it was a well written book with no noticeable typos. I look forward to reading more from this author, and (hope) this develops into a series because I would enjoy reading more stories featuring Fox Walker.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review-- thank you!