Ute rancher/tribal investigator Charlie Moon (Snake Dreams, 2008, etc.) is off once again on a trail of MacGuffins.
When Apache elder Loyola Montoya is incensed that witches are squatting on her property, Charlie Moon, who’s responded to dozens of her complaints, promises that he’ll come out in the morning. By the time he gets there, she’s burned up—and so is he, at the miscreants who killed her. Charlie’s ensuing odyssey wends in and out of the dreams of his old auntie Daisy, the daft shaman; the nightmares of his best pal, Scott Parris, sheriff of Granite Creek; the lustful imaginings of pubescent Sarah Frank, who wants to marry him; and the half-truths retailed by his ex-sweetheart Lila Mae, a gutsy FBI agent who sees no reason to mention that the bozos he’s after practice cannibalism as well as robbery, arson, gunplay and—tough luck for Charlie—retribution in the form of planting bombs for chasing them. A lot of horrible deaths ensue. Many witty remarks are uttered. And if it’s hard to tell who’s really alive and who is dead, and which Ute vision will be prophetic and which a tad premature, there’s no denying that the plot is a lulu. If you’ve been brought up on Hillerman and don’t realize that Native Americans like a joke as well as the next gazebo, let Charlie Moon, all seven feet of him, enlighten you.
Insanely good—Charlie’s best since Grandmother Spider (2001).