Winner of the Spur Award and author of more than 30 novels (Flint’s Truth, The Buffalo Crossing, both p. 526), with Dark Passage his third this year, Wheeler has deepened over time and is now in top form. The tenth entry in his Flint series opens sweet-tempered and richly written, until Barnaby’s wife Victoria—really a Crow named Mary Quill Woman—tires of his drinking and goes to visit her tribe: —I want to be with the People again.— What’s even worse news to Skye, the newly tribal Victoria lets herself become second wife to Jim Beckwourth, the wealthy mulatto war chief of the Crows (and his first, ’senior— wife welcomes her). Then the redoubtable killer Bloods, a tribe of the Blackfeet, kidnap Victoria, and Skye trails the tribe into Canada, where he’s wanted as a former deserter of a British ship. Ironically, when the Bloods capture Skye, Victoria’s ruses save Barnaby. Will he ever forgive her for running off from him? Realistic throughout.