Boston lawyer Charles Stone occasionally works on retainer for Franklin Life Insurance Company when they need his special services. While he usually gets involved in dangerous investigations they are unequipped to handle, or that would cause poor public relations for the firm, this latest assignment involves saving Franklin Life from financial ruin.
Stone must travel to Utah where Lucas “Luke” Simon, a prominent Mormon insurance executive who has gone rogue. He has decided he is now a prophet and has created a polygamist sect in a remote, rugged area near an abandoned uranium mine along the Arizona-Utah state line. The sadistic leader holds a tight rein over his cult, using harsh punishment to keep followers in line.
Stone flies to Phoenix, Arizona where he meets up with his friend Jim Dunn, who is able to give him an update and proves to be a welcome support during what becomes a life-threatening assignment for Stone. He also meets with a highly placed Mormon he calls Elder John, who explains the connection between Franklin Life and the reason for Stone’s current assignment.
Stone then heads up to Salt Lake City, Utah in a rented Hummer. He decides to use the trip as a travel adventure and the author shares Stone’s trip with readers as an interesting interlude before the main action picks up again. Once in Salt Lake City, Stone meets with his main contact and the dangerous assignment begins in earnest.
In the meantime, Brigadier General Jane Myers, commander of Fort Huachuca near Tucson, Arizona finds out Stone, her mortal enemy, is in the area and makes her own plans to rid the world of the person who killed her lover.
Canyons of the Soul is the second in a series of travel mysteries written by Charles L. Fields following Sentimental Me. The author moves smoothly between several storylines while making good use of detail and flashbacks to keep readers engaged. There is a lot going on from several different directions leading up to the climax, but the reader can easily keep up with the action.
In fact, the manner in which this story is told only increases the enjoyment. A touch of the occult and a romantic encounter further adds intrigue and depth. Fans of this new series will be pleased to hear the author is currently working on a third installment.
A special thank you goes to Mr. Fields and Outskirts Press for providing a complimentary copy of Canyons of the Soul for review. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of any of Mr. Fields books, including his popular memoir, Many Lands Many Hearts, they are available at Amazon.com.