By Abby West
January 17, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Valley of Bones

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Michael Gruber’s second novel under his own name offers a feast of rich characters, an intricate, globe-hopping plotline, and an exploration of faith’s place in our world. Miami cop Jimmy Paz, the Santeria-tinged hero of 2003’s Tropic of Night, is still struggling with the ”occasional demonic attack.” And he’s just one of the four narrators of Valley of Bones, which begins with a Sudanese national plunging to his death from a Miami hotel balcony. Gruber’s central protagonist is the memorable Emmylou Dideroff, who finds religious devotion with a mysterious order of nursing nuns and fills four composition notebooks with a ”confession” that skips from Florida to Rome to Africa. Emmylou is drawn as so convincingly evil (or maybe just damaged) that you’re anxious to follow her story and its connection to Gruber’s enticing whodunit.

Valley of Bones

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