Six months ago, museum curator Deborah Miller had never heard of Ek Balam, an obscure Mayan archaeological site known for its carved figures. Now here she is, having traded Atlanta’s urban jungle for a remote village in Mexico’s Yucatan, tasked with overseeing Ek Balam’s excavation. But when a sudden rainstorm causes a partial collapse at the site, an unexpected treasure is unearthed: a collection of rough-cut rubies hidden from the world for hundreds of years—and very out-of-place in the Yucatan. It is a find of immeasurable value, one that Deborah vows to protect—and yet is powerless to prevent from being stolen soon after its discovery. Determined to retrieve the stones, she sets out to trace their complex history across four centuries and two continents, from Mexico to northern England where the jewels once played a harrowing role in the Lancashire witch trials of 1612. But Deborah is not the only one searching for the stones; close on her heels are archaeologists, occultists, and one very determined arms dealer, all of whom will stop at nothing, not even murder, to claim the prize for themselves.
About the Author
A. J. Hartley is a native of Lancashire, England, and was born near the town where the witch trials featured in Tears of the Jaguar occurred four hundred years ago. He lived in Japan for several years and traveled extensively throughout southern and eastern Asia before moving to the United States for graduate school. After earning his Ph.D. from Boston University, he taught college-level Shakespeare in Georgia and North Carolina. Today he works as a dramaturg, director, theater historian, and theorist in Renaissance drama at UNC-Charlotte, where he holds the Robinson Chair of Shakespeare Studies. He has written fiction for twenty years and is the author of Macbeth, a Novel with David Hewson, Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, Act of Will, Will Power, The Mask of Atreus, On the Fifth Day, and What Time Devours.