How far will the government and an Indian tribe go to avoid adverse publicity about radioactive waste buried on a reservation?
These are hard times for Hannah Dain, of Dain & Daughters. She’s recently broken up with her lover, Cooper Smith, and discovered a new half-sister to add to the family that includes her aloof law partner Shelby, a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t know that they’re only half-sisters. On a trip to the reservation, Hannah and Shelby watch in horror as a woman drives off a cliff into a lake, narrowly missing them and Hannah’s friend Jerry Dan on the way. Hannah and Jerry Dan risk their lives to rescue the woman, the lover of the deceased geologist who was supposed to testify in Shelby’s radioactive waste case. Taking over for an ailing Shelby, Hannah refuses the settlement brokered by the tribe when the plaintiffs beg for their day in court. When her newfound teenaged half-sister Anuya arrives unannounced, they bond despite their many differences. Forays with the newly hired geologist to collect evidence from the reservation put them in danger when they discover that someone has recently been dumping more hazardous waste, someone willing to kill to cover their tracks. Daring desert adventures lead to a resolution that may put Hannah’s life back on track.
Phelan’s fourth (Spurred Ambition, 2006, etc.) provides a worthy heroine, harrowing adventures and a satisfying mystery.