A Town Called Why

Book cover for 'A Town Called Why'

Simple justice or an eye for an eye? Half-Apache cop confronts pure evil.

Colleagues of Frank Gaines, a half-Apache, Arizona desert town police detective, know him as a courageous man. Gaines doubts that. He suspects he’s afraid of not behaving courageously. He goes into therapy. This creates a new problem: he is falling in love with his therapist, a striking, full-blooded Apache woman, Sunny Kacheenay, granddaughter of a great shaman, who has mystical gifts of her own.

A distant maternal relative of Gaines dies by shotgun blast. Against her own best professional instincts, Sunny is forced to tell Gaines that by ancient, ancestral law, his sacred duty is to find, torture and kill the murderer.

Jokingly, Gaines tells her it’s not the 1800s anymore.

Sunny doesn’t laugh.

In the process of trying to hunt down the most malignant villain Gaines has ever heard of, he begins to test his courage for real and to recognize his true feelings about life, love, and courage.

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“Author Rick Lenz blends action with a strong dose of Apache philosophy in this vividly written novel. His dramatic descriptions of the Southwestern desert make the landscape itself a compelling character. And all of this with a nod and a wink to the supernatural elements the desert inspires.”
– Anne Hillerman, bestselling author of the Leaphorn, Chee, Manuelito series

“An absorbing tale of mystery and revenge … nuanced … powerful.”
– Booklife

“Spirited, interwoven characters enrich this sharply written desert thriller mystery.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“This is a novel that actually earns that dog-eared cliché of being a book you won’t want to put down.”
— US Review of Books

“An evocative exploration of the nature of evil and the extent to which people will go to combat it.”
Seattle Book Reviews

“Dynamic … beautiful … mesmerizing.”
— Manhattan Book Review