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Canyon Sacrifice (National Park Mystery…

Canyon Sacrifice (National Park Mystery Series)

by Scott Graham

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This book has a good premise with some interesting characters, some of whom need a more distinct voice and character motivation. Secrets, lies, and red herrings added to the suspense, but were a little far-fetched at times. ( )
  bemislibrary | Aug 29, 2015 |
A well-plotted mystery in which newly-married Chuck Bender must use his knowledge of the Grand Canyon to out-think kidnappers. Recently married, archaeologist Chuck Bender and his new family are vacationing at the Grand Canyon where Chuck has worked, uncovering Anasazi artifacts. This time, however, Chuck must use his knowledge of the canyon and of Anasazi lore to find whoever has kidnapped one of his daughters. Chuck is a likable character and the descriptions of the Grand Canyon are a highlight in this action-packed story. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Note: this review is based on an ARC received from the publisher ( )
  astraplain | Jul 8, 2015 |
A good mystery in the awesome setting of Grand Canyon National Park. Chuck Bender an independent contractor/archeologist is on a vacation, honeymoon, with his new family. He married a young woman, Janelle, who has two young girls and a troubled past. Chuck is trying to connect with the girls by showing them where he has worked and the exciting finds he has made to preserve the past. While contracting for the Park, Chuck has uncovered some remarkable finds left by the ancient Anasazi Indians who inhabited the region around the Grand Canyon. Chuck is having a tough time connecting with his new daughters, when things go very wrong. The oldest girl is kidnapped from their tent while the family sleeps. Janelle is distraught. She believes the girl has been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, a drug dealing thug who will stop at nothing to get back at Janelle for finding a new man. Kidnapping rapidly escalates as Chuck tries to get some of his old friends from the Park Rangers to assist in finding the girl. Ransom plans fall through as hot lead flies through the normally tranquil Park. Suspicion even turns on Chuck as he goes rogue in the attempt to rescue his daughter before she comes to harm. The setting is the star of this story. The detail’s of this beautiful land are what sets this book apart. Although some might argue that the natural scene is spoiled by the intrusive nature of man, I would posit that man is indeed a part of nature and the National Park’s attempts to accommodate visitors is a necessary part of balancing the need to preserve and our wish to interact with nature. Book provided by Torrey House Press and Shelf Awareness. ( )
  Ronrose1 | May 19, 2015 |
Canyon Sacrifice is going to make you see the Grand Canyon in a whole new way. Chuck Bender is the perfect guide, as he weaves strands of geology, park history, Native American culture, and archaeology into a good old action-packed page turner.

I loved how Graham put together all the canyon lore in a non-academic, non-preachy manner that tells readers just as much about the characters as it does the Grand Canyon itself. Chuck Bender is a fascinating main character. He's a loner who's been running his own archaeology business for years, so getting used to being part of a family is going to be a huge adjustment for him to begin with-- but to start things off with a kidnapping? As Bender races to save his daughter, he learns quite a bit about himself and what he thinks is most important in life.

Probably my favorite section in the book is Chuck's hike down into the canyon. It's a race against time that could very well kill him. The entire episode tells us a great deal about Bender the man, as well as the respect with which the Grand Canyon should be treated.

Graham also shows skill in plotting a mystery, and now that he has his main character well established, I'm really looking forward to the next books in this series. His secondary characters need to have a chance to shine, too.

If you're a reader who loves Nevada Barr or C.J. Box, chances are excellent that you'll enjoy this first National Park mystery. Give it a try. ( )
  cathyskye | Aug 16, 2014 |
It's hard for me to believe that this is a first novel. I was drawn to it for a few reasons, the Anasazi Indians, whose ruins I have visited, the Grand Canyon, which I also visited. I was intrigued, also, by the archeological aspects. All this information was given to the reader along with a very good mystery. Death and kidnapping, and all with a happy ending.
Thoroughly enjoyable and a darn good read! ( )
  croknot1 | Jun 26, 2014 |
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"When his new stepdaughter is kidnapped during a visit to the Grand Canyon, archaeologist Chuck Bender faces up to his secret past and his unfamiliar family-man role as he confronts every parent's worst nightmare--that of a missing child"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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