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Cactus Heart: A David Mapstone Mystery    by Jon Talton order for
Cactus Heart
by Jon Talton
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Cactus Heart is a rip-roaring good story with a romance thrown in to round it out. University historian David Mapstone returns to his hometown of Phoenix to investigate cold cases for the police department. He literally falls into the tomb of small twin boys who disappeared many years previously. Seems like an old case can be closed since the boys' bodies have been found and the convicted kidnapper has already been executed.

But nothing is ever that easy. Mapstone feels there is more to this than meets the eye and works to uncover the past. When a new murder occurs he knows he's on the right track; he just doesn't know where the track will lead him.

Cactus Heart has an intricate plot that flows from one happening to another. There's plenty of action and a main character you can't help but like. Phoenix takes on a personality of its own in this absorbing tale. The author's juxtaposition of old Phoenix and today's Phoenix speaks of a love of that city that is passed on to the reader. The exploits take place just prior to the new millennium bringing back that time when we were all concerned about Y2K was that only seven years ago?

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