Valley of Shadows

Blackstone Audio. Sept. 2022. 10:41 hrs. ISBN 9781982604318. $29.95. F
Ruiz’s (The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez) latest is historical horror that takes place in its own mystical universe. In the late 1800s, former lawman Solitario Cisneros tends to his ranch near the U.S.-Mexico border by day and communes with his wife’s ghost at night. However, he is asked to return to the border town of Olvido and help stop a gang’s reign of terror. A mix of Anglo, Apache, and Mexican settlers, Olvido has always been a powder keg, but the bloodthirsty acts now plaguing the town might make it explode. To find those responsible for the carnage, Cisneros gets help from his young deputies, a seer who carries a torch for him, and the spirits of the dead. Using a multitude of distinct voices and pitch-perfect emotional range, narrator Gary Tiedemann immerses listeners into the lives of those populating this dark fantasy world.
VERDICT Ruiz’s poetic descriptions describe a world filled with beauty, although it is also home to evil born not from ghosts or demons, but from the hearts and minds of corrupt men. Recommend to readers looking for a different sort of western, one that blends horror, mystery, historical fiction, and magical realism.
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