Desolation Flats (Hardcover)

A Mystery (An Art Oveson Mystery #3)

By Andrew Hunt

Minotaur Books, 9781250064615, 384pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2016

List Price: 26.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In the summer of 1938, as war clouds loom overseas, auto racers from around the world gather at the Bonneville Salt Flats west of Salt Lake City, intent on breaking the land-speed record. But when Clive Underhill, a wealthy English motorist, mysteriously disappears and his younger brother, Nigel, is found dead, Art Oveson of the Salt Lake City Missing Persons Bureau is called to investigate.

Suddenly, Art’s best friend and former partner, Roscoe Lund, becomes the number-one suspect in Nigel’s murder, prompting Art to follow a murky trail involving homegrown fascists, bigoted ex-cops, a string of homicides, and a German auto racer with a mysterious past. And, through it all, FBI Agent Frank Oveson tries to prevent his “kid brother” Art from discovering dark truths that may threaten his life.

Tony Hillerman Prize–winning author and historian Andrew Hunt transports us to 1930s Salt Lake City in Desolation Flats, this engrossing, detailed mystery that shows what goes on behind the scenes in the supposedly clean-cut Mormon capital.

About the Author

ANDREW HUNT is a professor of history in Waterloo, Ontario. His areas of study include post-1945 U.S. History, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the American West. He has written reviews for The Globe and Mail and The National Post, and he is the author of two works of nonfiction, The Turning and David Dellinger and is coauthor of The 1980s. He grew up in Salt Lake City, where his novel, City of Saints, is set, and he currently lives in Canada.

Praise For Desolation Flats: A Mystery (An Art Oveson Mystery #3)

Praise for Desolation Flats

"Set in 1938, Hunt’s outstanding third mystery featuring Mormon policeman Art Oveson combines a moving portrayal of a man attempting to deal with his wife’s depression with a clever whodunit story line. . . .The richness of the characters, including secondary ones, and the imaginative plot make this the best yet in the series." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This knockout of a novel finds Mormon police detective Art Oveson where we left him at the end of last year's fine A Killing in Zion - in 1930s Salt Lake City. But this novel is so powerful it can be taken as a stand-alone." —Booklist (starred review)

"Hunt's characters are full of surprises.... Desolation Flats is a well-written murder mystery." —The Deseret News

Praise for City of Saints

“Mixing in a terrifically paced plot and a memorable policeman hero . . . City of Saints is full of juicy twists that go deep into Mormon doctrine and travel as far as Hollywood.”
National Post (Canada)

“Hunt’s first-person narrative in this gritty mystery is spot-on and conjures up a disturbing portrait of Salt Lake City’s criminal underbelly in the midst of the Great Depression.”
Deseret News

Praise for A Killing in Zion

“Hunt’s excellent second mystery featuring Art Oveson lives up to the promise of his Hillerman Prize–winning debut, City of Saints. . . . Readers will cheer a hero who is not only a fine policeman but also a family man with a strong moral compass.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Some authors excel at crafting compelling historical fiction, others at building, brick-by-brick, gripping mystery/police procedural plots. Andrew Hunt is crackerjack at both."