The Spirit and the Skull
Murder is unthinkable to the People—a Paleolithic tribemigrating across Alaska and becoming some of the first undocumented immigrantsto enter the Americas. For them, murder isn’t merely tragic, it’s forbidden.Murder poisons the entire tribe and puts it at odds with nature, the Spirits,and the mighty Earth Mother. A murderer must be found and removed in order toput the world back in balance.
Raven is the aging Spirit Man to a band in which a member hasbeen strangled with a garrote. Worse, evidence of witchcraft is linked to thekilling—another terrible violation of the People’s covenant with the EarthMother and the Spirits. Raven isn’t a Spirit Man because of sacredly heldbeliefs. He holds the position because his band needed someone to do so, andbecause he needed to secure his place among them. Now the agnostic Spirit Manbegins having dreams in which a stranger holds Raven’s skull in his hands, anda woman claiming to be the Earth Mother—accepted by many followers—declares that only Raven can solve the crimes and restore the People toharmony. How will a man who doubts the authenticity of this goddess satisfy herdemands? What if she and the dreams are real and successfully solving thecrimes will result in Raven’s imminent death? An impossible situation becomeseven harder as Raven finds it increasingly likely the young woman he’s fallingin love with must be the guilty party.
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