If anyone else is writing about a Mormon detective who quarrels with the Church but still does occasional odd jobs for them, we don't know who they are. What we do know is that Irvine's Moroni Traveler is a wonderful creation, an ex-pro football player who comes home to Salt Lake City to work with his father. In their latest case, the Travelers take on a frightening cultist who leads his followers to a desert down damaged by nuclear testing.
From Publishers Weekly
In the desert lands of Utah, a strange world exists, and Moroni Traveler, a non-Mormon, former football-playing sleuth from Salt Lake City, tries to make sense of it in his eighth outing (after The Hosanna Shout). At the urging of a high-ranking Mormon official, Moroni and his partner, his father Martin, travel to the state's desolate southwest, where the official's daughter has taken her sick son to be healed by a charismatic preacher. If Jason Thurgood doesn't consider himself the second messiah, members of the Mormon-offshoot cult who have taken over the nearby town do, especially after Thurgood walks away, unharmed, from a point-blank assassination attempt. Known throughout Utah as "cult country," the southwestern part of the state is a barren, inhospitable region made that way by nature and clandestine nuclear testing. Moroni's hunt for the mother and son neatly dovetails with Martin's investigation of the disappearance of two retarded boys from a nearby hospital secretly run by the government. Irvine expertly mines his setting for the narrative riches of myth, superstition and religious history. His Traveler stories consistently offer thoughtful entertainment. No exception here.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.