A New Star in the West: Carol Potenza’s debut novel HEARTS OF THE MISSING Is Not to be Missed

If Hearts of the Missing is any indication of what’s to come from debut novelist Carol Potenza, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that a new star is rising in the mystery-writing heavens.

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HERE’S WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT

When a young woman linked to a list of missing Fire-Sky tribal members commits suicide, Pueblo Police Sergeant Nicky Matthews is assigned to the case. As the investigation unfolds, she uncovers a threat that strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Fire-Sky Native: victims chosen and murdered because of their genetic makeup. But these deaths are not just about a life taken. In a vengeful twist, the killer ensures the spirits of those targeted will wander forever, lost to their family, their People, and their ancestors. When those closest to Nicky are put in jeopardy, she must be willing to sacrifice everything—her career, her life, even her soul—to save the people she is sworn to protect.

HERE’S WHAT I THOUGHT OF IT

The first few pages of Hearts of the Missing made my nerve-endings light up with a thrill like few mysteries I’ve read. This may be Carol’s first novel, but she writes like a seasoned pro. She knows how to tell a story, she knows how to weave a compelling mystery, and she knows how to entertain. The premise of her book is fascinating and her main character is someone you’ll want to spend more time with.

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HERE’S WHAT SOME OF HER OTHER FELLOW WRITERS THOUGHT

Hearts of the Missing is the winner of the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize and received a starred review from Library Journal. And, she’s picked up some mighty high praise from some mighty fine mystery writers:

“New Mexico is a spectacular setting for mysteries, and Carol Potenza puts its majestic landscape to unexpected and thrilling use.”

David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of First Blood

“In the Hillerman tradition, Carol Potenza’s Hearts of the Missing winds and weaves together like a Tsiba’ashi D’yini basket holding one fine mystery.”

Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries

“Carol Potenza’s award winning debut novel is a fascinating page turner that will leave readers anxious for the next in the installment. Pueblo Police Sergeant, Nicky Mathews, blends science, mysticism and cunning police work as she investigates a tribal murder that leaves her life in jeopardy. Thoroughly researched and masterfully plotted, Hearts of the Missing uses the atmospheric beauty of New Mexico to fully make this mystery come alive.”

Tricia Fields, Tony Hillerman Prize-winning author of The Territory

HERE’S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CAROL

CAROL POTENZA is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at New Mexico State University. She and her husband, Jose, live in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Hearts of the Missing is her debut novel.

HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN BUY HEARTS OF THE MISSING

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

AND HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN CONNECT WITH CAROL

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter: @calypza

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