Reservation "bad boy" Thomas Begay is found dead drunk under the La Plata Bridge, which is not unusual for him. What is unusual, however, is that beautiful BIA investigator Patsy Greyhorse is found lying beside him, not drunk or even a Navajo but very dead nonetheless. Charlie Yazzie, fresh from law school, risks his career and even his life to help his old friend. The answer seems to lie with the Yeenaaldiooshii...should one choose to believe in such things.
©2013 R. Allen Chappell (P)2016 Tantor
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I kept expecting Lt. Joe Leaphorn to show up in various scenes. Chappell is a great story teller and I felt the book was almost in the league of Tony Hillerman. This is a modern day story set in the Navajo Reservation I the Four Corners Region. Our protagonist is Charlie Yazzie who has returned to “The Res” with a law degree, but finds few choices for his skills. He is unable to obtain employment in any law firms in off Reservation towns. The Navajo Nation hires him as a special investigator until a position opens up in the tribal legal department.
Thomas Begay, a school friend of Charlie’s from the Indian Bureau’s tribal boarding school days, is charged with the murder of a Sioux Indian woman. It turns out she is an attorney with the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigating a problem with the Tribal watershed rights. Charlie sets out to prove Thomas innocent.
What makes the story interesting is Charlie has lost most of his fluency in the Navajo language and customs. The story provides a look at a people where the young are leaving behind the old ways but the older generation is hanging on tight to their past. Chappell provides an insight into the modern day problems of the Navajo people in a form of a good story. The story has engaging characters, fast action and some humor. Chappell provides explanations of Navajo history, culture and spirituality and how they have survived in such a rugged environment. Kaipo Schwab does a good job narrating the story. I cannot wait for more stories by Chappell.
"Enjoyable Way to Learn More About Navajo Ways"
This was very pleasant trip into unfamiliar territory.
The gentle flow of the story suited the characters.
His narration suggested the way I imagined the characters would sound but was not too strong so that would have interfered with my understanding what they said.
I actually enjoyed this story moe than Tony Hillerman's. There were not so many repetitive phrases that seem to pad the narrative.
Story was good until the end. The closure was abrupt and I was left hanging. I felt like more closure would have been more satisfying,
"Climax feels rushed and lets down the narrative."
overall the story was ok up until the last 40 minutes or so. I felt like the author was forced to end the story to meet a deadline.
"spoiled by Hillerman"
T his was a quiet little mystery story, the kind you can listen to with half an ear as you work some mindless task. it didn't have the tight, serious plots of a Hillerman, nor the well-researched and well -known cultural aspects of the Navajo. But it was very listenable. I gave four stars to the narrator for not knowing the proper pronunciation of some very simple words like mesa, and for stars to the author for not only not knowing done very basic but critical Navajo cultural, but for also apparently not knowing the right titles given each person in a clan's hierarchy. overall it was listenable and I will finish the series as I found the plot reasonable though in need of filling out and the characters were likable and believable.
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