Now, Curtis's photographs are on display at the museum of St. Francis Mission on the reservation, and history seems doomed to repeat itself. A descendant of the tribal chief who appeared in Curtis's pictures has been shot to death, and the museum's curator has disappeared. The two incidents may be linked to the near century-old murder. Soon, Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley will discover an even more disturbing connection to present-day events.
Investigate another Arapaho Indian Mystery.
©2004 Margaret Coel; (P)2004 Books in Motion
"Coel draws readers into early Arapaho life as smoothly as she brings them into the sinister goings-on at present-day Wind River, masterfully blending authentic history with an ingenious plot." (Publishers Weekly)
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
This is a book in the Father John O'Malley series, which takes place on the Arapaho reservation. He is the Irish priest at St. Francis Mission, and he has a great love for the people he has come to know and feel a part of--and they love and trust him in return.
In this book, murder is afoot--both in the present and in the past. They are linked through some photographs that were taken by a famous photographer at the turn of the twentieth century, as he sought to depict the Native American lifestyle, even though it had meant he had to stage the pictures rather than find them in a natural manner. This was the opportunity for a shocking murder to occur--which has repercussions through the generations, and provides a link to the crimes occurring now.
Ftr. O'Malley and his lawyer friend Vicky Holden (or if he were not a priest, she would be more than a friend) have worked together on other cases, so it is natural that they come together again for another really good story, filled with interesting lore about the Arapaho people, and well-drawn characters.
The story itself is good, and a word about the narration. I think that for the most part she is excellent. But in places, it sounds as though she is trying so hard to have crisp, clear diction, she overdoes it a bit--you can hear the final "t" sounded on too many words. However, I'd like to give her a "wavy hand" on this (good and bad mixed) since in other respects, she has an uncommon ability to create very good voices, with unusually good inflections, voices tones, and little things--like her including a throat clearing, laugh, indrawn breath, etc--that give a more authentic sense to characters' dialogue. This is the third I've read in the series, and find them very good.
The premise and the plot are interesting and engaging. The writer, however, must have attended one of those awful workshops where they proselytize "show not tell" - about the most misused advice there is - with the predictable result that her characters pluck, swivel, gulp, freeze, like they all have nerve disorders, and spend most of their time not looking at each other. There are also some very elementary errors, like grabbing a menu off a podium. And a few holes in the story, like: If you were desperately investigating a particular person's recent activities, and if you found that this person had intensely scrutinized an old photograph, even to the point of getting a magnifying glass for it, and then got all excited and offered a huge amount of money to have it ... would you give the equivalent of "hmm. thanks. bye" and then leave without looking at it?
AUDIO: Oh, spare us from this reader! She's a very poor actress, and poor with voices and accents, overacts unbearably, especially during sensitive moments. She often has no sense of the characters' personalities, or of the point of what's being said, and is often gratingly shrill. Sometimes so awful I was embarrassed for her, as when one of the Arapaho elders inexplicably develops a thick Irish accent. Worst of all, she acts out everything like "sighed," "drew her breath in," "took a gulp of air," "small laugh," "big guffaw," "choking laugh," "stutter," -- aack! She did everything short of belch and break wind. I'd like to read more from this author, but don't know if I can stand listening to this reader again.
Margaret Coel's Arapaho Indian Mysteries are great. I love the stories of Indian culture and the plots are well done. These would all receive five stars except for the reader. Her midwestern accent is a bit over the top and somewhat distracting. Words ending in
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