With the focus all on the southwestern U.S. these days, it seems appropriate to highlight a new thriller set in New Mexico by Penny Rudolph (author of Thicker Than Blood). Titled Eye of the Mountain God ($20, Thomas Dunne Books), Rudolph’s fourth crime novel centers on Megan Montoya, who has come to New Mexico with her daughter, Lizzie, to begin a career in photography. One morning Megan opens her newspaper and five jagged stones clatter to the floor. A jeweler identifies them as emeralds, and an attractive archeologist believes they might be the legendary emerald arrowheads used by the Pima Indians four centuries ago to lure away the Spaniards. Megan’s paperboy goes missing, and her house is searched. Tension escalates as Megan finds her only client is hiding something, and that the man she is falling in love with may have ulterior motives. When Lizzie is kidnapped, Megan becomes embroiled in a separatist plot, bargaining with a cabal’s crazed leader to spare her daughter’s life.