Wednesday, June 17, 2009

UFOs, Alien Abductions and Murder

Well, now I have yet another new favorite author after reading The Clovis Incident by Pari Noskin Taichert. I am not exactly a believer in UFOs, but I do love all things science fiction and generally enjoy stories dealing with aliens, UFOs and abductions. I've been watching UFO type movies since the 1950's and still get a kick out of them. In addition, I'm a big fan of Tony Hillerman and Betty Webb and mysteries set in the Southwest. So when I saw this book on PaperBack Swap, read the blurb about the story, saw that Tony Hillerman said really good things ... well, I just had to order it. And I was not disappointed

When PR professional Sasha Solomon is fired from her job, she's sent scrambling to line up a
new one in short order. She decides to interview for a PR position in Clovis, NM and catch up with her old college buddy Mae King, a Clovis area dairy farmer, at the same time. And she'll save money by staying with Mae. But as soon as the two meet, Sasha finds that there is something terribly wrong. Her old friend has changed dramatically. After Mae takes Sasha on a midnight run out to the dairy farm and shows her a body in one of her stock tanks, Sasha is horrified and worried. Mae not only has no idea who the dead man is or how he got there, she steadfastly and adamantly refuses to call the police. The two go back to Mae's motel room where they argue, drink and pass out. When Sasha awakens the next morning, Mae is gone. So Sasha is left to call the police and try to explain the situation. She now faces possible charges for not having reported the body as soon as she found out about it.

To make matters more complicated, we find out that the murdered man was
a Singaporean aviator who had been a stationed at the nearby Cannon Air Force Base. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the murder, no obvious connection between the aviator and Mae or her dairy operations. And things get even more mysterious when Mae reveals to Sasha that she believes she was abducted by aliens and beamed aboard a spaceship. Add to the mix Mae's strangely behaving children and Sasha's apparent hallucinations concerning the dead man and you've got more questions than most mysteries can handle at one time. But Taichert handles them all beautifully, tying everything up quite satisfactorily by the end of the book.

Sasha is an intelligent, witty sleuth. I gotta go get the next two in the series: The Belen Hitch and The Socorro Blast.

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