Hardcover edition 2005, St. Martin’s Minotaur, New York
For Em Hansen, things couldn’t be better professionally and personally. She’s got a full-time gig with the Utah Geological Survey; she’s the go-to forensic geologist for state law enforcement, and a long-simmering acquaintance with a handsome pilot is turning into more than friendship.
But when she’s called in to investigate how a massive quarry wall collapsed, she’s shocked to discover that the viciously mutilated body that was trapped beneath belongs to none other than Em’s old colleague, Afton McWain, an oil tycoon turned controversial geological consultant. It doesn’t take much digging for Em to uncover a deluge of motives for Afton’s murder, from his scandalous “three’s company” private life to his one-man investigation into a mysterious water shortage and a billion-dollar real estate fraud.
And with adversaries as treacherous as a sudden canyon flood, Em also must employ her cutting-edge skills to explore the dark territory of the heart, where love and loyalty are the most deadly mirages of all…
"When a corpse with its fingerprints removed is found crushed under a gravel-pile avalanche, Em Hansen gets on the case in Andrews’s 10th mystery to feature the Utah forensic geologist (after 2004’s Earth Colors). An unmistakable tattoo allows Em to identify the victim as Afton McWain, but what was the eccentric Colorado environmental activist doing in Salt Lake? Em hitches a ride with Fritz Calder, a charter-plane pilot friend, to Colorado, where McWain’s ex-wife and current live-in “nature girl” reside. No love is lost between the suspicious pair, who both consider themselves heir to McWain’s off-the-grid ranch, which is surrounded by hungry developers whose financial interests don’t mesh with his findings about water availability in this drought-stricken region. As Em and Fritz weather their way through missed romantic signals, ominous clouds gather over the ranch, where Em collects evidence. Andrews may wander from scientific dissertations to romantic reveries and inadequately fleshed-out subplots, but fans of information-packed suspense should be satisfied."
(Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.)
"Readers will enjoy digging into Andrews’ latest entry in the Em Hansen series, which finds the spunky geologist helping police investigate the death of an acquaintance crushed beneath a load of gravel. Before coming to Salt Lake City and taking a job with the Utah Geological Survey, Em had worked with the victim, a prominent geologist named Afton McWain. Solving the crime means Em must work closely with her former boyfriend, Detective Tom “Ray” Raymond, who has plenty of unresolved feelings for Em. Complicating her love life further is Fritz, a handsome pilot with whom friendship is beginning to turn into something more. Although some of Em’s lengthier monologues on geological phenomena might cause readers’ eyes to glaze over, Andrews, herself a geologist, does impart some interesting information about Earth, particularly concerning ground water, which just might provide a motive for Afton’s death. Working with Em to solve the case is feisty police detective Michele Aldrich; the relationship between these two strong, smart women is a highlight of the story. Another engaging chapter in a rock-solid series.
(Copyright American Library Association.)
Dallas Morning News
Rocky Mountain News
"Fans of this series will find plenty to like in Dead Dry, and any mystery reader who enjoys the lovely rocks of Colorado will, too."
"A terrific who-done-it…fans will appreciate Em’s latest digging in the dirt gem."
"Filled with moments of suspense and twists and turns that will leave readers stuck to their seats…the characters are engaging, and they are the sort of people you would like to meet again."