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The murder of an archeology student and attempted murder of a second pull Apache Tribal Officer Al Victor into what seems to him a senseless killing. The Arizona Antiquities Task Force brings Deputies Bren Allred and Manny Sanchez into the case. They find themselves investigating a sophisticated high dollar artifact theft ring centered around the unique Baleful Owl effigy. The ruthless ring leader is not motivated by greed, but vengeance for imagined wrongs. Before the case is solved one of the officers will be the unwitting target of the skilled assassin. The Baleful Owl joins The Wham Curse and Saints & Sinners as the third mystery in Virgil Alexander’s rural cop series. Mixed with the main story line is the natural and human history of the Southwest. The cultures of the native tribes, the rural ranchers and farmers, and Hispanic traditions are woven into the unique fabric of the contemporary West.