Novel set in Canyonlands is ‘captivating joyride’

raptor canyon
Photo courtesy of A.W. Baldwin

Raptor Canyon, what critics are calling “a hoot of an adventure novel,” has received the Grand Master Adventure Writers Finalist Award, presented in Phoenix earlier this month to author A.W. Baldwin.

New York Times best-selling author Dirk Cussler presented the award and calls the novel “[a] captivating joyride … relentless danger mixed with dusty adventure makes for a gem of a read.”

Raptor Canyon is the second in the three-book adventure series featuring “Relic,” a moonshining hermit, and outdoor adventures in Canyonlands National Park. In the novel, Ethan discovers the unethical role his senior law partner plays in a development project. He and Relic must endure each other, monkey-wrench the corrupt land deal, and save a pristine canyon. Peter Greene, award-winning author of the Jonathan Moore Adventure Series, says “Raptor Canyon will have you holding your heart and your breath at the same time.”

Wings Over Ghost Creek, Baldwin’s third novel in the series, has been called “a beautifully written thriller” by Readers’ Favorite and will be released later this year. In that novel, Owen discovers a murdered corpse at a college-run archeological dig, but when he and a Park Service pilot try to reach the sheriff for help, their plane is shot from the sky. Owen must ditch the small airplane in the Colorado River.

He and Relic flee from the sniper and circle back to warn the students, but they must trek through rugged canyon country, unravel the mystery at the archeological site, and foil a remarkable form of thievery. Suzy, a student at the dig, helps spearhead their escape in a tattered 1946 aircraft, but the unique team of crooks has a surprise for them.

In Baldwin’s first novel, Desert Guardian, Ethan slips off a red-rock cliff and is saved by the gin-brewing recluse. Ethan must join a whitewater rafting group to make his way back to civilization, but someone is killing to protect an illegal dig for ancient treasures. Relic, Ethan and the rafting crew must survive midnight murders and save an ancient pueblo battlefield from looters.

All three of his novels have received Five Star awards from Readers’ Favorite. The first two are available through Amazon or the local bookstore and the third will be released later this year.

When he’s not writing, Baldwin practices law in Lander, Wyoming, and flies a Cessna 172. You can visit him at