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Valley of Bones by Michael Gruber
In Valley of Bones, Michael Gruber brings back Miami Detective Jimmy Paz from his debut novel, The Tropic of Night. This time Jimmy is investigating in the murder of a Sudanese oilman tossed from his hotel window. Back in his room he finds a woman supposedly in conversation with a saint. She seems mentally incapable of standing trial for the crime, but she agrees to write out her confession, not necessarily of the murder, but of the other sins of her life. She tells of a life of abuse as a child, as the lover of a major pot grower, and how she was saved by a group of French nuns to do the work of God, from where she led a Joan of Arc existence in Africa for a while. Jimmy and the psychologist examining the woman try to get to the bottom of the woman's fanciful stories, but at times she's appears possessed by the devil or acting like an instrument of God. Valley of Bones explores the world of faith, miracles, and perhaps believing in what you can't see and it has received positive reviews. The Washington Post says, "Tropic of Night and Valley of Bones, both published after Gruber turned 60, are themselves miracles of intelligent fiction, and are among the essential novels of recent years.