From Publishers Weekly
In this gripping debut, a Wyoming art expert and consultant for the FBI returns to her home state of Montana to appraise a trailer full of stolen art for the local police. The evening of Alix Thorrsen's arrival, her sister's husband is arrested for the murder of a woman named Shiloh, spiritual leader of a woman's group called the Manitou Matrix. Although Alix can't believe her brother-in-law, an anthropology teacher, would have killed Shiloh, his knife may be the murder weapon. Moreover, he admits to having had a loud argument with her the day before when, incensed that someone had cut the limbs off a tree sacred to the Native American Salish tribe, he had questioned Shiloh and her group. Taking on the job of proving his innocence, Alix gets a call from a woman asking her to authenticate a Jackson Pollock painting. When that woman is found murdered nearby, Alix discovers that the victim had also been trying to locate an artifact known as the Bluejay Shaman. Because Shiloh, too, was looking for the elusive Bluejay pictograph, Alix focuses her search on the ancient stone. Ancient rituals and the powerful Montana landscape are deftly integrated in this suspenseful tale.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
When her sexist brother-in-law, anthropology professor Wade Fraser, is jailed for killing spiritual counselor Shiloh Doris, Jackson (Wyo.) art historian Alix Thorssen puts her FBI consulting on hold to help her sister Melina. The evidence against Wade is bad medicine: He'd quarreled loudly and publicly with Shiloh, the local contact for a women's group called the Manitou Matrix, over a recent outbreak of vandalism on the Salish reservation (Manitou head Orianna Gold Flicker had finally ordered a group of followers to sit on him), and ten years earlier he was charged with assaulting Marcus Tilden, his chair at the university. Since then Tilden has gone on to earn the nickname ``Mad Dog'' by leading his female groupies in orgiastic dances as the Bluejay Shaman, half- man, half-bird. How is this weird behavior tied in to the bluejay pictograph both Shiloh and wealthy Oklahoma collector Charlotte Vardis were looking for before they were killed? Mad Dog is a piece of work, all right, but the rest of newcomer McClendon's low-profile cast, from heroine to killer, are no more substantial than tribal spirits as they run through their obligatory scenes. For regional specialists only. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.