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This book by Charles Grant is the second one of the “X-Files stories”. Once again the two special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigate mysterious cases beyond imagination. This time the story takes place in New Mexico.
At the beginning a rancher in New Mexico discovers two dead human bodies that have been skinned. In the meantime Mulder is thinking over the murder of five women. He discovers that the murderer is slicing the letters of his name into his victims. Then Scully tells him of the dead men of New Mexico.
At the same time, in New Mexico a boy is killed too by something barely visible. Mulder is told by another agent about the murderer of the five women before he and Scully go to New Mexico. The local police tries to find conventional explanations for the murders, but they don´t even believe them themselves. We also learn of some special Indian rituals, but without their exact meaning. Scully examines the dead bodies, including these of several animals that have died in the same way, and she concludes that they died while at full consciousness. Then another man is killed without noticing a murderer.
The two agents learn to know the local police, and at first they change their clothes into something suitable for the desert. Then they meet the woman who had discovered the first bodies and investigate the place. When they ask about the local Indians, they also hear about the “Sangre Viento”, what means bloodwind. An Indian servant at the ranch tells Mulder about the religion of the Konochine. When a priest of them dies, another one is appointed, and during this ceremony the Sangre Viento blows.
Mulder and Scully eat with the local forensic doctor, and they learn the details of the deaths. The skin was practically rubbed off. Afterwards Scully talks with a dealer who sells Indian jewelry, who tells her some facts about the life of the Indians. At the parking lot of the police station they secure some proofs from the car of the last victim. After a short but intense rain they meet with the Indian who sold the jewelry to the dealer in the town.
In the meantime the dealer wants to leave the town because she has fear, but she is also killed by a mysterious wind. Some time later Mulder has an experience with the wind too, during a walk through the garden of their hotel. They investigate at the reservation, and while they go there Mulder explains the connections to Scully. He is sure that the psychic energy during the Indian appointing ceremony manifests as the Sangre Viento. But it seems that someone is able to control the wind.
After they´ve visited the reservation at the Mesa, they go back. But the Indian who brought them there is the one who uses the bloodwind to kill others, and now he tries to kill them too, while they´re alone in the desert. They run and get to a house, where the Indian is able to hunt Mulder down, while Scully can get into the house, where she´s safe. But finally Mulder is able to shoot the Indian, and when he shoots a small medicine bag, the Sangre Viento immediately disappears.
I found this book quite interesting how it mixes fictional elements into the culture of the Mexican Indians. The story also has some really good comic elements, like Mulder near Roswell ...