KILLING RAVEN by Margaret Coel


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Still more virtue and vice on an Arapaho reservation.

Father John O’Malley (The Shadow Dancer, 2002, etc.), pastor of the St. Francis Mission in the Arapaho Wind River Reservation, is called out to pray over a murdered man found in a shallow grave in the desolate Double Dives. The body was discovered by teenager Lela Running Bull while she was drag-racing pickup trucks with her delinquent boyfriend Tommy Willard, one of Captain Jack Monroe’s rangers—young Indian thugs protesting the new Great Plains Casino run by Lodestar Enterprises on behalf of the tribe. Monroe, a white outsider, is convinced that gambling, especially Indian gambling, is evil, and his rangers, who’ve seen too many movies about psychopathic Vietnam veterans, are seriously harassing the casino. Is the corpse one of Captain Jack’s victims? When Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden, Father John’s strenuously platonic friend, accepts a job at the casino at the urging of handsome Lakota lawyer Adam Lone Eagle, she becomes a target of Captain Jack’s harassment, even though incorruptible Vicky has broken into the casino computer system in her first week (the way detectives routinely guess computer passwords, it’s a wonder anyone keeps them secret) and found evidence of fraud. Soon Captain Jack, he dead. From there, the obvious villains take obvious steps, with Father John doing his best to thwart them.

The appealing domestic details of life on the rez ring truer than the tired tale of corporate corruption.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-425-19261-X
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2003


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