Synopsis: Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father’s disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present. But under the town’s dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up – desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can’t scientifically explain – her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town’s most powerful interests. Petra’s father wasn’t the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill. Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn’t understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next.
Review: Initially I was not sure that the book would be for me when I heard about it. But it is Laura Bickle we’re speaking about and so far I have not been disappointed by one of her novels. It was finally a good thing to try this adventure as the author conquered me again. Here we find a very original story mixing alchemy, mystery, murder, and magic.
Petra went to Temperance after a difficult history that left her a little disoriented. This city is the last known place of her father years before and the young woman hopes now to find him. Yet her research will quickly get complicated when she realizes that this place contains many secrets. Two powerful characters of the city compete in secret. It’s quite difficult to identify exactly what they are and what they really want to achieve, but one thing is sure, they are ready to do anything to achieve their goals. Accompanied by a coyote with whom she befriended, Petra finds herself in the middle of the intrigues of the city. Indeed, she finds a kind of compass on her land and it seems that the boy who calls himself the Alchemist is determined to get it back! But on top of that, she is interested in Gabriel and tries to understand him. This is a man who works for Sal and it looks like everyone avoids these people at all costs. The guy has many secrets and even though she knows that discovering everything could be dangerous, Dee is determined to understand what’s going on, especially when bodies start to appear all over town.
I enjoyed discovering our heroine, she tries to understand what is happening in this strange city, without forgetting that her primary purpose is to find her father. She will end in a story completely beyond her but always accompanied by her friends. I loved her relationship with coyote, this animal who appreciates her but who is not so ordinary. It’s funny to see how the two will become inseparable over the chapters. And then there was this man … Oh Gabe is very difficult to define and to understand. He’s hiding something and has some quite extraordinary powers and I was very curious to learn the truth about him. Besides, I have to say I was very surprised because the author had some very interesting and different ideas while creating a new myth.
I will not say more because we discover many things in the story, but in any case I was very interested from beginning to end and I hope we’ll have a sequel soon because I’m curious to see what happens to the characters after that. Laura Bickle once again presents a book at the height of her previous writings.