Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wild Sorrow-Sandi Ault

Wild Sorrow
Sandi Ault
Berkley, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780425225837

Bureau of Land Management resource protection agent Jamaica Wild is the liaison with the Tanoah Pueblo. A rancher complains that a wolf has attacked his sheep, but Jamaica believes the predator is probably a mountain lion. With her friend the semi-civilized wolf Mountain, she follows the wounded animal’s bloody trail while expecting a blizzard to hit the area shortly. When she reaches some ruins, she takes shelter from the weather inside the ruins of the San Pedro De Arbues Indian School.

Inside Jamaica finds the body of a woman whose hair was scalped. Later she learns the corpse is Cassie Morgan, an elderly Anglo woman who was a matron of the Indian School that abducted children from their “savage” parents to Americanize them through corporal punishment and substandard food, health care, and shelter. After she reports the homicide, Jamaica sees an ATV and gives chase. From that moment on attempts are made to frighten Jamaica off the investigation, but when that fails, murder attempts follow.

The protagonist is brave refusing to allow thugs to run her off the case though she is a bit fearful even with her faithful companion Mountain having her back. The whodunit is exciting because no one, not even the heroine, knows why she has become under siege. Sandi Ault provides readers with a deep vivid look at the life of a Pueblo inside an entreating outdoors’ mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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