Black Sun Descending

By (author): Stephen Legault
ISBN 9781771510998
Softcover | Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Book Dimensions: 5.25 in x 8 in
240 Pages

About the Book

Silas Pearson is plagued by nightmares. In them, his wife, Penelope, who has now been missing for four years, shows him where murder victims are buried across the Colorado Plateau. One such dream leads him to the Atlas Mill tailings site, outside Moab, Utah. There, Silas discovers the corpse of anti-uranium-mining activist Jane Vaughn, who went missing from Flagstaff, Arizona, buried in radioactive waste. Trying to connect the murder with the disappearance of his wife, who was friends with Vaughn, Silas travels across the Southwest to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He confronts a host of suspects who wanted Jane Vaughn dead and who believed Penelope, too, was interfering with progress on the plateau. All the while, Silas’s nightmares, threaded with snatches of prose from the writings of Edward Abbey, seem to be leading him to some final confrontation—but with what?

This is the second book in the Red Rock Canyon Mysteries, all of which are set in the American Southwest—around Arches, Canyonlands, and Grand Canyon National Parks, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Legault is a full-time conservation activist, writer, photographer, and organizational development consultant. He is the author of Running Toward Stillness, a meditation on Buddhist spiritual practice, running, and parenthood, as well as several photography books, including Earth and Sky: Photographs and Stories from Montana and Alberta and Where Rivers Meet: Photographs and Stories from the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country. He lives in Canmore, Alberta, with his wife, Jenn, and two children, Rio and Silas.


“Legault’s character development and landscape depiction is exquisite, completely immersing you in the heat and dust and sights and smells of the desert. His plotting has become more intricate and enticing with each book . . . and Black Sun Descending … leaves us with one crime still unsolved, Penelope’s whereabouts still unknown, and a hunger for the final book to reveal all.” —Rocky Mountain Outlook

“A superbly crafted mystery from beginning to end, Black Sun Descending . . . continue[s] to document Stephen Legault’s total mastery of the genre . . . Replete with unexpected twists and surprising turns, it is very highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

Black Sun Descending reminds us of something that too many people have either forgotten, or never known in the first place: Decades of uranium mining in the desert Southwest not only poisoned the Navajo Reservation, but also despoiled the Grand Canyon … Given its real-life backdrop, this environmentally conscious mystery is both educational and intriguing, and Pearson’s search for his wife’s body is emotionally affecting.” —Mystery Scene Magazine