R. Allen Chappell takes a bold new direction with this thriller, raising storytelling and knowledge of the Navajo culture to an entirely new level.
When Mexico's bloodiest predator invades the reservation, it's up to Charlie Yazzie and his friends to take charge the Navajo way. Navajo can track prey, but can Charlie, Thomas, and Harley Ponyboy catch the killer before he catches them?
©2015 R. Allen Chappell (P)2016 Tantor
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I am enjoying this series about the Navajo Nation Mystery. I appreciate Chappell’s skill as a story teller. This story is a bit different from the prior stories in the series. The story is primarily about Charlie Yazzie, Thomas Begay and Harley Ponyboy. These three have been friends since children. Chappell discusses the difficulties Begay and Ponyboy have in maintaining sobriety, and uses this to review the alcohol problem among the Navajo.
In this story we get to see the magnificent skill of Harley Ponyboy as a tracker. First Thomas and Harley find a dead white man, and then the three come across a dead Navajo girl. Instead of leaving the hunt for the killer to the FBI, the three set out to find him. The story goes back and forth between the killer “Mojado” and the three friends.
Chappell paints a trek through the Navajo back country with all its wild loneliness and danger. The book is well written and fast paced. The plot twists and turns more so than Chappell’s other stories. I learned that Mojado is Spanish for wet and often refers to the “wet backs”: Mexicans sneaking across the U.S./Mexico border. Chappell provides a constant sub dialog about Navajo beliefs in ghost, spirits and magic. The ending was a nice unexpected twist. Kaipo Schwab does a good job narrating the story.
I'm in the process of redoing all my reviews.
I was astounded at the quality and gritty substance of Chappell's fourth book. He didn't pull any punches on this one. Not only was the story a good one, but the plot and action kept me fully involved to the end. I was truly impressed at Chappell's quantum leap in style, narrative, and realism.
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