Award-winning author Coel intrigues with her latest Father John O'Malley/Vicky Holden mystery. When police discover a white man's body on Wyoming's Arapaho Wind River Reservation, Father John is called to say a blessing over it. He discovers that young Lela Running Bull found the body and fears that her boyfriend may have been involved in the murder.

Enter Vicky, an Arapaho attorney assisting with contract work at the reser-vation's casino. She gets stonewalled when she learns the casino's upper echelon employees received their jobs as a favor to an Arapaho relative who chairs the casino management commission. When angry protesters harass Vicky for working at the casino, she doesn't know who to fear more.

Father John's and Vicky's decision to remain just friends offers an undercurrent of unfulfilled romance, which adds weight to the intrigue. Coel's expertise on the Arapaho people provides realistic insight into the trials of Native American people. Add murder and a tangled web of deceit, and this is a tightly woven, suspenseful read. (Sep., 384 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick