The Silent Spirit
Berkley, Sep 2009, $24.95
On the Wind River reservation, Kiki Wallowingbull comes home after serving two years on a charge of selling drugs. Father John O’Malley, who just returned from Rome after a six month stint there is now the interim pastor of St. Francis Mission located on the reservation. He and Kiki meet and the ex-convict tells the priest he is clean and determined to find out what happened to his great-grandfather Charlie who vanished in 1923 while in Hollywood doing a shoot to promote a movie, The Covered Wagon, in which he had a part.
When Kiki returns from Hollywood, he tells Father John that the answer to the disappearance is here on the reservation. Soon afterward, Kiki is found dead. Lawyer Vicky Holden hears from a man who insists he killed him in self-defence, but though they soon talk in person she never sees his face. The police arrest a drug dealer, but Vicky knows the man is innocent of this crime; she must find the culprit to insure justice is served even though the arrested prime suspect is a career criminal.
The story is told in two parts, the present and 1923 when the Arapahos and the Shoshones make the movie. In the present, Kiki dies trying to learn what really happened to his ancestor. Readers will enjoy trying to find out what the link between the two deaths are besides blood; and want to do it before Father John and Vicky solve it. Margaret Coel provides an enjoyable mystery that is highlighted by the Arapahos eight decades ago and now.