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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
R. Lawson Gamble's novel Lost Oasis (Zack Tolliver, FBI Book 8) is a murder mystery. The principal character is FBI Agent Zack Tolliver, Special Cases Branch. Zack has an impressive record of solving challenging crimes that seem impossible and irrational. Eagle Feather, a Navajo and renowned tracker and guide, is Zack's friend and mentor and extraordinary co-investigator. In the story, Dr. Carl Scheidecker, the world's foremost expert on renewable hydroelectricity generation, is a consultant for EverSun Energy Company in the desert flats near Joshua Tree National Park. Dr. Scheidecker disappears, utterly and mysteriously, on a hike in the desert. Zack is called in to investigate the scientist's apparent disappearance near a remote Chemehuevi sacred pillar of rock, the site of an ancient oasis. As Zack and Eagle Feather investigate, there are repeated attempts to kill them both. Why? Who would kill to silence all efforts to solve the mystery?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading R. Lawson Gamble's Lost Oasis for its remarkable principal characters, Zack Tolliver and Eagle Feather, and equally for the fascinating evocative narrative of Chemehuevi legends, beliefs, and traditions interwoven into the mystery. Zack and Eagle Feather are a formidable team of investigators. Zack has the unusual ability to grasp intuitively the significance of legends and myths. Eagle Feather's extraordinary ability to view matters from both modern and more ancient perspectives is vital to their investigation and to their very survival. I liked the involvement of two Chemehuevi tribe members in the story: Dr. Silvia Mike, dentist and shaman, and Lucas Leivas, a Chemehuevi investigator. Their characters are vital to understanding the seemingly unrelated pieces of the mystery. As the story progressed, I was riveted by the twists and turns. The vivid desert descriptions make the tension even more palpable, and the suspense never ends. The ending is out of this world! A great murder mystery, elusive and exciting!