Aimée and David Thurlo
Forge, Aug 31 2010, $24.99
At an airfield landing strip neat Shiprock, New Mexico, two men fire at Navajo Tribal Police Special Investigator Ella Clah, her former boyfriend and father of her daughter Dawn attorney Kevin Tolino and Afghanistan veteran turned Navaho lobbyist Adam Lonewolf. The trio was returning from D.C. when they were attacked. Ella and Kevin received minor injuries while Adam is severely hurt.
His two traveling companions are stunned to learn Adam had $75,000 in a Monopoly game he was carrying, but his condition does not allow Ella to ask him why. Ella and Chief Big Ed Atcitty wonder if the assault’s prime target was Kevin, who is working a legal suit against casino manager Alan Grady. Ella also considers the possibility the attack is linked to the controversial Prickly Weed alternative fuel project on tribal lands.
This is a terrific and powerful Ella Clah police procedural as the heroine works the assassination attempt as well as dealing with personal decisions that deeply impact Dawn. The case is difficult to resolve as any of the trio could have been the prime target so motive is hard to choose as each has enemies. Enhancing the story line is a profound timely look at alternative energy as Team Thurlo’s fifteenth Clah whodunit is a great entry (see Coyote’s Wife and Earthway).