Art Oveson, a police detective from a family full of lawmen, made his first appearance in the Tony Hillerman Award-winning historical mystery novel City of Saints. He cherishes his family, his church, and the memory of his father, a police inspector mysteriously slain when Art was an adolescent. Living in the shadow of this traumatic event, Art seeks to make good on a vow he made to his deceased father: To relentlessly pursue justice in his beloved Salt Lake City, at any cost, even if it puts his life – or the lives of those he loves – in danger.
City of Saints (2012)
To the outside observer, Salt Lake City might seem to be the squeaky-clean "City of Saints"—its nickname since Mormon pioneers first arrived. Its wide roads, huge Mormon temple topped by a horn-blowing angel, and orderly neighborhoods give it the appearance of the ideal American city, but looks can be deceiving.
When a beautiful socialite turns up dead, Art Oveson, a twenty-something husband, father, and devout Mormon just getting his start as a sheriff's deputy, finds himself thrust into the role of detective. With his partner, a foul-mouthed former strikebreaker, he begins to pursue the murderer—or murderers. His search takes him into the underbelly of Salt Lake City, a place rife with blackmail, corruption, and death.
A Killing in Zion (2015)
In the scorching, drought-plagued summer of 1934, as wildfires burn across Utah, Detective Lieutenant Art Oveson faces a unique assignment. Salt Lake City's mayor has tapped him to revive the Anti-Polygamy Squad, a unit formed years earlier for the purpose of driving out the city's "plural marriage zealots." As a Mormon ashamed of his own ancestors' part in the church's polygamist past, Art is eager to do his part to flush out the extremists.
Then a local polygamist "prophet" is brutally murdered and a shell-shocked young girl is found at the scene of the crime. Is she the victim's daughter, a child bride, or the murderer herself? Art attempts to investigate the death, as well as discover her identity, despite a "wall of silence" put up by polygamists who would rather mete out their own rough justice. Soon, however, Art discovers that the sect has much more to hide than he thought.
Desolation Flats (2016)
The Bonneville Salt Flats, 1938.
The world famous British land-speed racer Clive Underhill has gone missing, and it's up to Detective Arthur Oveson and his Missing Persons Squad to find him. His disappearance soon leads Art and his fellow detectives down a pathway of murder, corruption and blackmail, as they desperately search for the Englishman before the case generates headlines across the country.
As Art digs deeper into the case, he stumbles upon Nazi plots, FBI subterfuge, and plenty of suspects who aren't exactly what they first appear to be. There are plenty of twists and turns in this third novel by Hillerman Prize-winning author Andrew Hunt!