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The steep ochre cliffs and hot barren mesas of the vast Navajo Indian Reservation in the American Southwest harbor dark mysteries only the local inhabitants understand. Following the death of his wife and son during childbirth JOHN ROUNDTREE has become a bitter recluse, seldom seen outside his neglected house during the day. Rumors of strange figures seen in the dark of night convince the townsfolk that Roundtree is practicing the dark arts. So when hunting guide EAGLE FEATHER and his two clients stumble across the broken body of a little white girl on a lonely mesa top the people naturally suspect Roundtree. The authorities send for FBI Agent ZACK TOLLIVER to assist in the investigation. The young victim has been clawed and there are bear tracks nearby. But when Zack and Eagle Feather follow the tracks they mysteriously change mid-stride to barefoot human prints. Zack tracks the killer on horseback deep into the wild desolate countryside and encounters a terrifying presence during the night. His trail leads him to Roundtree's house and a confrontation with the recluse and finally the case is solved...or is it? Months later another little girl's body is found 500 miles away in southern California. Are the cases connected? And if so, who or what is doing all this, anyway? Some evil force is at play.
My take on this book:
The Other by R Lawson Gamble transported me to Elk Wells, Arizona, a tiny town on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Many in the town had long thought that John Roundtree had been dabbling in things of a dark supernatural nature,so when a little white girl is found dead on reservation land he becomes the prime suspect. FBI Agent Zack Tolliver is called in to investigate, and he enlists the help of Eagle Feather an expert tracker and Libby Whitestone and her bloodhound Blue. The tracks they find are far from ordinary because it seems as if a human turns into an animal, becoming a creature the Navajo call a Skinwalker. The tracks lead them to John Roundtree, and what they find at his residence seems to indicate that he is the perpetrator, so the case is closed. Zack is haunted by the fact that there were unanswered questions though, and when another dead girl is found in Palm Springs, CA a few months later Zack knows the killer is still on the loose and seems to be playing games with him. Can Zack figure out who or what is behind the killings, without losing his life in the process?
The Other by R Lawson Gamble takes it's readers on a suspense filled mystery that really had me waffling between the idea that the killer was a human or supernatural.The plot pulled me in and kept me riveted as each twist made me feel like I knew what would transpire next only to be lead a different direction. Descriptive writing sets the scene providing a visually stimulating picture of the setting, while also creating interesting, realistic characters. I enjoyed the relationship that developed between Zack and Libby,and Blue the bloodhound provided a few laughs! Mr. Gamble has the ability express emotion with his choice of words, providing a real glimpse of the friendship between Zack and Eagle Feather! I loved the paranormal aspects of The Other and it was obvious that Mr. Gamble did his research where Navajo legends and lore are concerned. I found myself fascinated by the idea of the mythological creature the Navajo call the Skinwalker. He makes the improbable seem probable, and had me wondering if such a thing could really exist! A fast paced, suspense filled mystery, with a blending of Native American lore made this a fascinating read that kept it's momentum right until the shocking end!
Reviewed for Readersfavorite.com