Eighteen years away from South Dakota has not erased the pull of the past for an FBI agent come home.
Manny Tanno feels that he’s the FBI’s token Native American who gets all the cases on reservations. Although he’s an instructor at the FBI academy, his boss sends him to investigate a murder on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he grew up, and where his adored older brother was jailed for a murder that took place during violent AIM activity in the 1970s. The present-day victim, Jason Red Cloud, was found on the site of his planned resort village with a war club buried in his head. The Oglala Sioux teachings Manny has suppressed for many years come rushing back as he deals with friends and enemies from his past. Red Cloud’s resort had promised new opportunities to the reservation, one of the poorest spots in the country, but Manny soon discovers that Red Cloud had no money and many enemies. The suspects in the killing include Manny’s brother Reuben, now a holy man, and Reuben’s ex-wife, who’s determined to protect the tribe’s money and her daughter’s reputation. With many hands against him and little help from the local authorities, Manny has to count on himself to solve the crime.
Wendelboe paints a vivid portrait of life on the reservation and deftly mixes history with a satisfying mystery in this series debut.