Excerpt from A Killing in Zion by Andrew Hunt, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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A Killing in Zion

An Art Oveson Mystery

by Andrew Hunt

A Killing in Zion by Andrew Hunt X
A Killing in Zion by Andrew Hunt
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  • Published:
    Sep 2015, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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Print Excerpt


"I can't believe you knocked me in the head with a jack handle, copper!"

"You should know by now, Grenache, that crime does not pay...."

That set off the orchestra. Climactic music filled the radio studio as the two actors stepped away from the microphone. "And now, a final word from the real Arthur Oveson," said the announcer. "Detective Oveson, would you kindly join us?"

The audience clapped as I rose from the stool and crossed the stage. I shook hands with the announcer and all of the actors during the applause.

"You did a splendid job playing me," I told Lyle Talbot.

He smiled with his mouth and his eyes and whispered his thanks.

"Detective Oveson, please step to the microphone," said the announcer. I nodded and moved in close. "I believe I speak for all of our listeners across America when I say that your heroism on that night back in November was truly inspiring."

"Thank you, sir."

"I understand you were given a promotion after this harrowing incident, Detective Oveson."

"Please call me Art," I said. "And yes, I was promoted to the detective bureau. I now command my own squad in the Salt Lake City Police Department."

Scattered applause crackled.

"I see! Congratulations!"

"Thank you."

"Do you have any parting words, especially for the boys and girls listening to our show tonight?"

I nodded. "Yes, I do. Stay in school, study hard, do your homework. And if you ever find yourself in trouble, tell a grown-up, especially if that grown-up happens to be a police officer. We're here to help you in any way we can."

"Thank you, Detective Oveson, for those wise words. And that concludes tonight's episode of Crime Does Not Pay, brought to you by Bromo-Seltzer." Dramatic music filled the studio again. "Be sure to tune in next week at this time as we present the intriguing case of Cleveland's Phantom Burglar. For the National Broadcasting Company, this is Red Wilcox bidding you good night from Hollywood, USA."

* * *

I white-knuckle-gripped the armrests as the airplane bounced in midair. Between bouts of turbulence, I checked over my shoulder to see Clara and Hyrum in the row behind me, both sound asleep. Now eight months into her pregnancy, Clara's stomach formed a glorious dome under her green frock. Hyrum sucked his finger while he slept, a habit that had persisted since infancy. I caught my breath and faced forward. Our plane, a dual-engine United Airlines with a pair of roaring propellers, descended into a thick brown haze, the result of massive blazes burning up the Wasatch and Dixie National Forests below us. The airplane cabin was designed with one seat on either side of the aisle, for a ten-passenger capacity. When we weren't leapfrogging over clouds, the stewardess would squeeze by, asking if we needed anything. I'd smile, shake my head, and pretend I wasn't in the throes of mortal fear. I kept a United Airlines sick sack by my side at all times, and I closed curtains in a fruitless attempt to ease my terror of heights.

"Ladies and gents," crackled the pilot's voice through a loudspeaker overhead. "We regret the bumpy skies, but we should be past them very soon...."

That's what he said he over Nevada, I thought. Right then, the plane shook violently, to show me who was boss. I gave the sick sack a squeeze.

"It's the safest form of travel, you know."

I looked across the aisle at Sarah Jane, who licked her finger and turned the page of her book. She had inherited her mom's features: hazel eyes, a narrow nose, a light sprinkling of freckles on her cheeks, and chin-length golden-brown hair. She mouthed the words as she read them, and no matter how often the plane shook and rattled, she never once averted her eyes from her book. She showed no hint of fear. How did she do it?

"Come again?" I asked.

"Airlines. Your odds of dying in a car wreck or a train jumping the tracks are a lot higher than in a plane crash."

Excerpted from A Killing in Zion by Andrew Hunt. Copyright © 2015 by Andrew Hunt. Excerpted by permission of Minotaur Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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