Stephen King's The Gunslinger meets Breaking Bad in Laura Bickle's novel Dark Alchemy.
Some secrets are better left buried …
Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming seeking clues to her father's disappearance years ago. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present. But under the dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up—desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can't scientifically explain—her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town's most powerful interests. Petra's father wasn't the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill. Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn't understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast—or die next.
This fun adventure in modern-day Wyoming introduces Petra Dee, a geologist looking for her missing father and trying to make peace with her past. What she finds is a small town where the law enforcement answers to the local cattle baron, and a meth dealer is an alchemist determined to recover the magical secrets of the town's founders. When Petra stumbles across an artifact that could be key to those secrets, she catches the alchemist's attention. Then her attempt to save a ranch hand from a vicious beating brings her to the attention of the Hanged Men, the local undead. Armed with a coyote familiar and a stubborn sense of justice, Petra doesn't back down, especially when she realizes that the alchemist might be the only one who can help her find her father. Bickle (Rogue Oracle) adds a dash of romance to the charming adventure, wrapped up with a perfect ending.
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Dark and Unique Urban Fantasy
I was entranced by the cowgirl on the cover and the story description. I also saw somewhere that this was one that had to be read. I can’t remember which blog but I fully agree. I read a lot of urban fantasy and when something different comes aroud and is an excellent read I have to share. This book should probably be called rural fantasy since the setting is a small western town near Yellowstone. There are no weres, vamps, or fae but there is magic, familiars, shamanism (is that a word?) and immortality. Add suspense and mystery and you have that excellent read. Highly recommended.