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Hearts of the Missing

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  558 ratings  ·  155 reviews
When a young woman linked to a list of missing Fire-Sky tribal members commits suicide, Pueblo Police Sergeant Nicky Matthews is assigned to the case. As the evidence leads her to a shocking discovery, she uncovers not only murder but an ominous, vengeful twist that strikes at the very core of what it means to be a member of the Fire-Sky People. With an intimate knowledge ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  558 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

As a long time fan of Tony Hillerman, I decided to take a chance on new author Carol Potenza, who won the 2017 Tony Hillerman prize. Nicky Matthews is a Sergeant in the Pueblo police. For some reason, I never thought there would be non-Indians on a reservation police force. But there she is. And despite being an outsider, she is the one that the Wind Mother chooses to visit.

I enjoyed this immensely. Nicky has a lot of baggage, including an ex-lover trying for a comeback and a boss that hates he
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I believe that there is more to this world than our minds recognize." There was an odd catch to his voice, a hint of uncertainty.

Sergeant Nicky Matthews feels a certain presence as she wraps up her investigation in a convenience store robbery. The lateness of the hour seems to have played tricks on her vision. From the corner of her eye she sees the reflection of an ancient woman in the glass staring back at her. She draws in a quick breath and leaps to the doorway. No one there, not even a bre
Gail C.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love it when I have the opportunity to visit or revisit an area through a book, and that is what  Hearts of the Missing by Carol Potenza offered. The story takes place on the Pueblo of the Fire-Sky Native Americans  and is a rich combination of themes woven together in a way that leaves you hoping there will be more books featuring these people and this beautiful setting. The novel combines multiple elements, weaving them in and out to create a beautiful tapestry.

There is Nicky, the federal la
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this arc.

A complex and very convoluted plot. The pacing wasn't very smoothly done, but in my mind forgivable as this is the author's debut book. Further confusion was the addition of a number of characters with inadequate "introduction".... details of their backstories were not provided until 50 plus pages later, making them feel more like plot contrivances than real characters. I found the main character Nicky a little unrealistic (too much emotion
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent debut novel for Carol Potenza and well worthy of the Tony Hillerman Prize. I was drawn in by the deep characters, mesmerized by the local and cultural feel, and pulled along by a fast-moving albeit complicated plot. Kudos, Carol, for an excellent read!
Maddison Michaels
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a phenomenal debut!! Wow, just wow... I loved it. The author had me hooked from start to finish. It was so well written, and the twists and turns, along with the red herrings, left me guessing to the end - just what I love in a good mystery. I adored the heroine Nicky - she was so relatable and I was cheering her on the whole time. I can't recommend this book enough. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy - you'll love it. I am now eagerly awaiting book 2 - and Potenza is an auto buy for ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, crime
Review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...

Thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a free physical ARC copy of this book. This book is a winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize.

I loved all the suspense, mystery and surprises in this book. There was so much suspense that it had me hooked to the storyline and I was so into uncovering the mystery of what was going on that I flew through this book and felt myself on the edge of my seat as I was reading through the cha
Jan 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I am really irritated that I read this book. I'd heard about it somewhere (whoever recommended it to me, you're on my shit-list) and when I was looking for books to read for Book Riot's Read Harder 2019 challenge, I decided to do this one for Challenge #9: "A book published prior to Jan. 1, 2019 with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads."

When I looked at the reviews on January 2, the book only had 82 reviews, so I got it from inter-library loan and read it last weekend. And *now* I see that ther
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Hearts of the Missing is a murder mystery set on Native American lands. A Pueblo police detective must find who is killing Fire-Sky tribe members. It's a compelling story with a unique perspective. The story gives a look at Native American culture, and I don't read many stories about this. The story is engaging, but the pacing is off. I was confused at times. The main character is likeable and intelligent. It's an overall good read but not fantastic. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange fo ...more
Liz V.
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
A librarian picked this book for me, and it was enjoyable if a little Indiana-Jonish.

Sgt. Nicky Masters routine police duties change when an old woman and her grandson report a missing granddaughter. Sandra had turned her life around and was within weeks of graduating from college. As Nicky learns, Sandra's senior project was those missing amongst the tribal members, but investigating Sandra's and the others' disappearance or deaths won't be easy as evidence is falsified, witnesses are unhelpful
Diane Heath
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am torn about this book. I could not put it down. Part of me wants to give it 5 stars. It is a debut novel so am giving it 4 stars so Ms Potenza will have a goal to aim at (😆😆😉)
I can well understand why it won the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize.
Debie Orrell
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The New Mexico location is what made me interested in this book but I really liked the plot and character development. The Native American custom descriptions really created an understanding and appreciation of the culture. I’m looking for another one from this author.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read everyTony Hillerman book and, being raised in the Southwest, loved how he (and later his daughter Anne Hillerman) captured so beautifully the aura of the land and its people. When I heard Hearts of the Missing had won the Tony Hillerman Prize for Best First Mystery Set in the Southwest, I was intrigued enough to read it.

Let me say, I was not disappointed. Potenza’s book is every bit as enthralling as a Hillerman Leaphorn or Chee mystery novel. Potenza’s love for the New Mexico landsc
Diana Holguin-Balogh
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the story on Audible. Hearts of the Missing is a captivating mystery with a romantic edge and a deep Indian cultural dimension. Fire-Sky people are vanishing. Micki Matthews, a feisty, dogged, intelligent tribal police woman is on a mission. She is endeared by the locals and two special Pueblo friends, Ryan and Samantha. They serve as her Indian translator, connector, and interpreter of signs. The plot will zig you here and there so hold on. Potenza’s writing style moves quickly with m ...more
Richard Becker
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful new book by the debut author who recently won the Tony Hillerman prize.
Like the Hillerman books, it is set in the American southwest on a tribal reservation. The author shows an understanding and reverence for the native american way of life as portrayed in the book.

Nicky Matthews, the detective charged with working a string of murders and missing persons among the tribe, relies on help from sympathetic members of the tribe and good deductions to solve the case. She does thi
Alison McMahan
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was a little disappointed when I found out the tribe was fictional. It then made me wonder if the customs and rituals I had just enjoyed learning so much about were also fictional, but from online interviews with Potenza I gather that those are based on research (Potenza's sister in law is a police officer in a New Mexico Pueblo).

The mystery revolves around scientific research, organ donors (the Fire Sky People have to be buried intact, so they aren't donors), and DNA. Potenza is a practicing
Laura Flores
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a true mystery at every turn. I fell in love with the main character, Nicky Matthews, as she navigated being an outsider in a world she feels deeply connected to. The artistry and cultural competency Dr. Potenza used when capturing the spirit of the tribal lands of New Mexico is astounding. I respect any artist that is able to research and present this culture so respectfully, and this book certainly hits the mark. It is no surprise that this book is the winner of the Tony Hillerman ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No wonder Hearts of the Missing won the Tony Hillerman prize. The best mystery I’ve read in a while. Up there with The Promise by Robert Crais and Little Green by Walter Mosley as far as books I remember and revisit long after I’ve read them.

Riveting plot, tightly paced, and beautifully written.

The rain started in earnest and the drops landed darkly in the clean field around the back door, little round balls of water that sat on top of the dirt, only to shrink away as the earth sucked them down
Hannah Nagle
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm really on the fence how to rate this. It feels like a 3 but it was SO slow paced I want to give it a 2.

What I liked:
-Potenza's writing is very atmospheric
-I liked reading about the Indigenous cultural celebrations within the book, but am very wary given that they were written by a non-Indigenous writer.

What I didn't like:
-soooo slow paced. I listened to the last quarter on audio because I just couldn't do it anymore.
-Nicky was weirdly invincible and it was so annoying. I also didn't particu
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this excellent modern mystery with original characters and a distinctive southwestern setting. The book is action packed, with a bit of a supernatural element that gives it a bit of an unsettling feel, and has a strong female protagonist that comes across as a real person. The setting of the noval on a fictional Native American reservation in Northern New Mexico is intriguing and adds an authentic southwestern feel to the story. The central mystery is unique in its combination o ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a tense and atmospheric novel that really packed a punch! I’m not usually into murder mysteries, but I was intrigued by the Native American culture that was a key element of this story, as well as the badass female protagonist and the taut pacing that kept me flipping pages past my bedtime. This book is addictive and hard to put down, and you’ll be hard pressed to do anything else until you finish it.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to my friend Judy Crudele for recommending this book to me. It takes place in a fictional New Mexico Pueblo and I was disappointed to learn later that it was not about a real Native American Indian Tribe. However, I believe it was loosely based on more than one real tribe. The legends and beliefs of the tribe were wonderful to read about and were an important part of the story. The mystery is well plotted and meticulously researched, as the plot concerned DNA, organ theft and donors. It w ...more
Lindsey Z
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
*3.5 stars*
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great debut novel. Type of characters is different than what I normally read.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Five stars until the last third, then it just got too confusing 🤦🏻‍♀️
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mystery, 2019
Sandra Deering is doing her thesis on the missing in her Sky-Fire tribe. Then Sandra is found as an apparent suicide. Her Grandmother asks Sgt. Nicky Matthews to check into her death because she knows Sandra’s soul isn’t at rest.

If you like Craig Johnson’s Longmire or books by Tony Hillerman you’ll LOVE this book! A great mystery, fabulous landscapes and very real characters!
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
debut novel, winner of the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize; an easy to read novel with twists and turns galore set in New Mexico; can’t wait for her to write more; 2018 hardback via Madison County Public Library, Berea, which my spouse found while checking books in as a volunteer at the…Library; 391 pgs.;
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a giveaway through Goodreads.
This book instantly captured me. I could not stop reading it, so I found myself reading until late into the evenings, just to get another chapter read. The main character was both feminine but tough at the same time, which I think resonates well with today's young women. I enjoyed the twists and turns this book offered all along the way.
I would definitely read more from this author.
Suzy Dominey
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
enjoyed ir , loved the native american angle of the tony hillerman ilk thst i enjoyed immensely
Mattie Nieves
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read
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A biochemistry professor at New Mexico State University, Carol decided to write for something to do after her kids went off to adulthood. Hearts of the Missing is her debut novel. It won the Tony Hillerman Prize in 2017. She keeps busy teaching biochemistry and writing the next book in the Nicky Matthews series which will always include (1) science twisted into science 'fiction', (2) some paranorm ...more

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