An old-fashioned murder mystery with a private detective and a beautiful femme fatale, set in an exotic location - the Australian outback - with potent under-currents of spiritual warfare.
Australia's most famous Aboriginal painter is dead, supposedly killed when a heavy object tumbled onto him in his studio during an earth tremor. But then doubts arise. For a start, the police now suspect murder. And how come the victim had been heard earlier predicting his own violent death?
Enter private detective Johnny Ravine to solve the mystery, and suddenly he finds himself thrust into a byzantine world of art and artists where questions are far more numerous than answers.
Where did the victim's art dealer obtain the incredibly rare artwork that he was secretly selling? Is the controversial green energy company Rokpower really going to harness power from hot rocks deep under the ground, and did it kill the artist's Dreaming spirit when it injected water onto the rocks? And who is the beautiful and mysterious Asian lady who seems to be able to converse with the dead, and who says she knows how the artist really died?
A killer is on the loose and even Johnny's own life is in danger. But first he needs to understand that the death of the artist has unleashed spiritual forces that threaten an entire community.
Christian Book of the Year Finalist
"Hot Rock Dreaming" was one of seven finalists - and the only novel - for the 2011 Australian Christian Book of the Year award, chosen from sixty-seven entrants.
The judges wrote:
"Hired to investigate the death of an Aboriginal painter, private detective Johnny Ravine is drawn into a complex mystery as dangerous as it is intriguing. Environmental politics, land rights and Aboriginal spirituality are explored with subtlety. For the hero and reader alike there is a valuable lesson to be learned about the importance of discerning which voice is proclaiming life and love when all is not as it seems. A compelling novel."
"Roth is a Christian author and, although spiritual warfare is crucial to the plot, this book is still a murder mystery...Thought-provoking and an enjoyable read."
- On Fire
"Highly readable...You will be both entertained and educated."
About the Author:
Martin Roth (www.authormartinroth.com) is a veteran journalist and foreign correspondent whose reports from Asia have appeared in leading publications around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. He is the author of many books.
The first three thrillers in his Johnny Ravine private eye series are “Prophets and Loss,” “Hot Rock Dreaming” (Australian Christian Book of the Year finalist) and “Burning at the Boss.”
He is also the author of the Brother Half Angel series, with "The Coptic Martyr of Cairo," "Festival in the Desert," “Brother Half Angel,” “The Maria Kannon” and “Military Orders.”
The first two novels in his Feisty Ferreira series of financial thrillers are "Tokyo Bossa Nova" and "The Kalgoorlie Skimpy."
He lives in Australia with his Korean wife and three sons.