Lulu Lavender has been stolen from her home. Her captor leaves behind only the bodies of her family, brutally murdered in the night. With the resources and attention of the sheriff’s department consumed by the high profile, media-magnet case of a missing white teenager from a wealthy family, it falls to sheriff’s lieutenant Buck Shelton and the small staff of his rural office to investigate Lulu’s disappearance.

The Lavender family’s nearest neighbor—Oliver Bowles, a college professor with secrets of his own—becomes Buck’s prime suspect. But Oliver is not what he seems, and his suspect becomes one of his only allies on Buck’s terrifying excursion into the literal and figurative darkness of Arizona’s storm-drenched southern border.

The investigation leads Buck into a world of bizarre powers and ancient struggles with tendrils reaching into the present, of border vigilantes and human rights advocates, drug dealers and femmes fatale, of the lust for power and glory and the violent impulses within the human heart.

With echoes from the distant past illuminating today’s headlines, MISSING WHITE GIRL is at once absolutely topical, dealing with border and immigration issues and the modern phenomenon of the missing white girl, and timeless in its depiction of supernatural horror and the effects of unbridled power on those who wield it.

MISSING WHITE GIRL is a breakthrough book in every sense, thematically compelling and compulsively readable. Googling the phrase “border issues” brings up a cool 51 million hits, so the topic is on everyone’s mind, from the halls of Congress to the house next door.

You have two ways to get a taste of the horrific world of the border region. There’s a Buck Shelton short story at Amazon Connect, which you can buy for only 49¢. It’s called Walkaway, and it show’s Buck’s first encounter with the supernatural. Also, here are the first three chapters of MISSING WHITE GIRL in a downloadable PDF. Give them a read–and then ask your local bookstore to order it for you!

Missing White Girl
Jove, May 2007 (320 pages, $6.99)
ISBN: 0-515-14308-1