Serial killers are stalking residents of a Navajo reservation.
Special investigator Ella Clah gets the case when a number of bodies are found buried near the border of the Rez. Because some of them are over the line, Ella and her team must also work with the New Mexico police and the FBI. Meanwhile, Ella’s dealing with some personal issues. Her mother’s cooking spree is clearly the symptom of some problem, but whatever it is, she won’t talk about it. Her tween daughter is skipping school. And Ella is forced to end her long friendship with a minister when he asks her to marry him. The team slowly makes progress by identifying the dead, all Navajo who seem to have little in common. They do turn up some possible suspects in two Navajo with criminal records who could easily have killed people over incidents of road rage. Another possibility is the business partner of one of the dead men, who’s been harassing the widow, even going so far as to hire private detectives to try to find the money he claims the partner stole. When she keeps digging, in an attempt to catch the mysterious killers before they strike again, Ella finds herself the recipient of both threatening text messages and gunfire.
Ella’s cases (Earthway, 2009, etc.) are always a good value. The latest is a procedural containing the usual insights into Navajo culture.