Human rights investigator John Alexander returns in David Stuart's third novel as he traverses the rough landscapes of Latin America, this time with his twelve-year-old ward, Andalusia, in tow. Kidnapped, then rescued in northern Peru, Andy, as Alexander calls his young companion, has extracted what their superstitious muleskinner guides believe to be a mystical revenge when she strikes down a powerful Ecuadorian general allied to those responsible for her mother's death and steals the cross he profanely wears around his neck. Andy is no saint, but she is a complicated character, traumatized by the abuses she has suffered at the hands of her abductors. Haunted by his own childhood torments, Alexander forms a deep bond with Andy as together they try to reconcile their troubled pasts. The three novels in anthropologist Stuart's collection, ""The Ecuador Effect"", a PEN Southwest 2007 fiction finalist, ""Flight of Souls"", and now ""Angel of Vilcabamba"", offer unique glimpses into diverse cultures, the complexities of human interaction, and the psychological effects of violence.
David E. Stuart was the first student in the state of West Virginia (1967) to earn a degree in anthropology. He earned his MA and PhD from UNM in 1970 and 1972. A cofounder of UNM's Office of Contract Archaeology, he has conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Alaska, Ecuador, and the American Southwest, where he continues to publish in both anthropology and archaeology. Stuart served the University of New Mexico as a senior academic administrator for many years, and still teaches the archaeology of New Mexico. His other UNM Press books include Prehistoric New Mexico (with R. P. Gauthier), the widely read Anasazi America, the award-winning The Guaymas Chronicles, Zone of Tolerance, and The Ecuador Effect. His most recent work, a novel, Flight of Souls, was released in March 2008.