Sunday, August 3, 2008

Coyote's Wife-Aimée and David Thurlo

Coyote's Wife
Aimée and David Thurlo
Forge, Oct 2008, $24.95
ISBN 9780765317162

On the Navaho Reservation in New Mexico, everyone is appalled by the brutal assault of Ervin Benally. Most people assume the beating was in direct reaction to Benally planning to install StarTalk on the reservation. This satellite phone system would enable instant cheap communication across the reservation.

Navajo Tribal Police Officer Ella Clah investigates the brutal incident. She quickly finds the Fierce Ones vigilantes involved, but is unable to figure out why as this group is known for instant eye for an eye justice. Ella soon realizes someone has purposely set up the beating and the vigilante group as a distraction for her and other law enforcement investigators, but once again remains in the dark as to whom and why.

Although there are too many cul de sac false clues followed, the latest Team Thurlo Navaho police procedural is an engaging and enthralling mystery. Ella is a terrific lead protagonist as she struggles with a case in which each step forward in progress seems to lead to two diagonally giant steps back. However, the star of COYOTE’S WIFE and this strong investigative series is the Navaho as the audience obtains a deep look into life on the New Mexico reservation.

Harriet Klausner