Arrogance and greed add up to a powerful motive for murder.
Travel agent Sadie Walela, who lives on a small country property with Sonny, her wolfdog, returns from a funeral to find her boyfriend, Deputy Lance Smith, at the scene of a nearby murder. The dead man, who was killed by a handmade arrow, is said to have been acquainted with ranch owner Angus Clyborn, but Clyborn, a newcomer, denies knowing him. An animal rights group is picketing Clyborn’s Buffalo Ranch, which is stocked with tame buffalo, elk, and other animals he intends to charge big bucks for rich trophy hunters to shoot. After Sadie witnesses the birth of a white buffalo calf on Clyborn’s property, she knows trouble is on the way should word get out a sacred animal was born there. Annoyed when Clyborn makes an unusually aggressive pitch to buy her land, she looks into the ownership of nearby property and discovers that much of what’s supposed to be Native American land has somehow been transferred to Clyborn. The Cherokee Nation’s also buying buffalo, and some of those purchases are being diverted to Clyborn with the help of Eugene Hawk, a lawyer who apparently puts greed above his heritage. Even Hawk is disgusted when he learns that Clyborn is planning to sell the white buffalo to the highest bidder. He hides mother and baby away on a distant part of the ranch. When Clyborn rapes her friend Becky, Sadie’s more determined than ever to see him get his comeuppance. She’s not surprised when he’s shot dead, but the number of people who had excellent reasons for hating him makes it difficult to pick out the guilty party.
Oklahoma native Hoklotubbe (Sinking Suspicions, 2014, etc.) once again shows evildoing in the area of her childhood home. A deep feeling for both the country and its inhabitants adds authenticity to her cunning tale.