Former SV resident
writes murder mystery
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 7:21 AM
Mark Reps, former Spring Valley resident and current board member of the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation, has just released a new book, "Native Blood."
"Native Blood" is the first of a trilogy that takes place in rural Arizona starting in the late 1990s. The main characters flow and develop through all three books. The second and third books are "Holes in the Sky" and "Fallen Angel."
"Native Blood" involves the ritual killing of a young Apache girl on a reservation in rural Arizona. It takes the reader through many complex layers of relationships between Apache and Anglo cultures. The myth and spiritual fabric of the Apache community pulls Zeb Hanks, a small town sheriff, through a personal journey, making the murder not just a crime to solve but a life altering passage.
"The dead never leave us but they do whisper ghost stories that bring the past back to life," said Reps. Jake Dablo is a drunken, washed up lawman because of his inability to solve the murder of his only granddaughter. Seven years after her death, the granddaughter of his lifelong friend, Medicine Man Jimmy Song Bird, is murdered in exactly the same ritualistic fashion. The pair join forces with the current sheriff's team to solve the murders. The closer to the truth they get the more each man grapples with his own conscience. Ultimately the intersection of two cultures and four men who are community pillars opens larger questions about the collision of the old and new west. When the dead are buried and the ghosts fade, each character is not the same. For they have lived each day of their life knowing that a murderer and his mark opens as many doors as it closes.
Reps spends his winters in Arizona and travels frequently to the Safford area and the San Carlos Apache Reservation. He spends a lot of time hiking the area and talking to the locals. These interactions and hearing local lore inspired him to write the trilogy. He has an interest in Native American culture from reading Tony Hillerman, with whom he had an email friendship. Many people write about the Hopi and the Navajo but few write about the Apache. Reps saw this as a niche writing area. His favorite hiking place in the area is Aravaipa Canyon, famed for being a hideout for the great Apache leader, Geronimo, when he escaped the U.S. Cavalry.
"Native Blood" is available through amazon.com as a downloaded book for 99 cents or as a paperback for $8.99. "Holes in the Sky" and "Fallen Angel" will be released in September and December of this year. You can read reviews of the book on amazon.com.