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Cry Dance Hardcover – March 2, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar Award nominee Mitchell (Deep Valley Malice), an ex-California SWAT cop formerly assigned to the reservations of Inyo County, offers a taut thriller about criminal control of tribal gambling casinos. Peppered with bureaucratic legalese and illuminated by fascinating lore of the Southwestern tribes, the plot is layered with authenticity. Investigating the mutilation murder of a Las Vegas-based officer of the Bureau of Land Management, Emmett Quanah Parker, part-white, part-Comanche investigator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is assigned to work with rookie FBI agent, half-Modoc, half-Japanese Anna Turnipseed. Although the BLM agent's body was found on a remote reservation in Arizona with her face neatly sliced off, it becomes evident that she was killed near the borax pits in Death Valley, Calif., while working on an Indian land trade involving the site for a proposed super casino near an off-ramp of Interstate 15. While Parker is in Carson City to interrogate the gaming syndicate's lawyer, Parker's old enemy, FBI agent Burk Hagiman, defies Parker's judgment and sends Anna undercover to work as a dealer at a backwater casino, where, of course, she encounters danger. The complex plot slowly reveals a conspiracy involving Jamaicans, Vegas hitmen and double-dealing Native Americans. Throughout, Mitchell tightly controls his material, his bitterness over the white man's legacy to Native Americans evident in historical asides. Unfortunately, the heart-stopping action is marred by his preoccupation with landscape, too many cardboard cutout bad Indians and a cartoonish nemesis. The climax based on the villain's change of heart is too contrived to maintain full credibility, blurring the earlier promise of a nail-biting end. Despite all this, Parker and Turnipseed make a memorable literary pair.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Mitchell's Southwest is as hauntingly beautiful and culturally complex as the real thing. When the faceless corpse of Stephanie Roper, a wheeling-dealing top official of the Bureau of Land Management, is discovered near Arizona's Havasupai Reservation, stoical Comanche Bureau of Indian Affairs investigator Emmett Quanah Parker is teamed with attractive, half-Modoc, half-Japanese FBI rookie Anna Turnipseed. Parker immediately senses that the killer is toying with them, providing clue after easy clue. As Anna goes undercover dealing cards at a Shoshone tribal casino, Parker heads to Lake Tahoe, where he almost loses his hand to the murderer's knife, temporarily loses the killer's scent, but nets another faceless corpse. Mitchell (Fredericksburg, LJ 2/1/96) was a law enforcement officer on the reservation in California's Inyo County and possesses an insider's knowledge of Native American history and the Southwest's brooding landscape. A good purchase, especially for Tony Hillerman fans.ASusan A. Zappia, Maricopa Cty. Lib. Dist., Phoenix
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553108107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553108101
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,897,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The descendant of California pioneers, Kirk Mitchell was graduated magna cum laude in English from the University of Redlands. Prior to becoming a full-time writer in 1983, he served in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff on the Paiute-Shoshone reservations of eastern California and a metropolitan SWAT sergeant. He has had fifteen original novels published, plus numerous blockbuster movie tie-ins, including LETHAL WEAPON and BACKDRAFT, under the pseudonym of Joel Norst. His ecological thriller HIGH DESERT MALICE was an Edgar Mystery Award finalist in 1996. He resides in northern California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Merrill on December 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A real page turner. Mitchell really tells a great story. Lots of plot twists and surprises. I couldn't put the book down. It was especially fun seeing how Emmett Parker and Anna Turnipseed finally manage to work together despite their conflicting personalities. Mitchell makes these two characters so real, I feel I've known them for years and can't wait to see what happens to them next. Great read for Tony Hillerman, Robert B. Parker, Clive Cussler fans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I live near the place where this novel was set, and I loved the author's descriptions of the people and scenery. But I was able to put this down. That's not good--I'm one of those people who will read all night if it's good (and I read 10-12 books/week). But I will buy the next book in the series...I did like it just fine.
Go for it! (and Mr. Mitchell, please put in more about the Comanches! I've always loved Quanah Parker)
Well worth a read...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Emmett Q. Parker, a criminal investigator for the BIA, is descended from Quanah, and Anna Turnipseed of the FBI is the great-great-granddaughter of Captain Jack of the Modoc, and even though the former is a very tough old veteran and the latter is still a rookie, you don't want to mess with either of them. Mitchell, who is well experienced at plotting blood-freezing action plots, does it again in this story of southwestern Indian casinos and Jamaican posses and psychotic killers, but he also does an excellent job of putting you inside the head of the lead characters (including the bad guys), letting you find out why they are who they are, how they relate to each other, and how they deal with being Indians in a mostly white world. And some of it is pretty horrific. But this isn't Tony Hillerman and there's not much romanticism in modern Indian life. An excellent piece of writing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RM on January 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Cry Dance was outstanding. I could not read the pages fast enough. The plot of the story was well developed and easy to follow. This was not a predictable story. It kept me guessing the whole time. Mitchell has a quite an imagination, and I hope to read more exciting and suspenseful books from this author in the future. May Parker and Turnipseed live on! RM
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frank Murano on February 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Aside from being an easy-reading, enjoyable murder mystery (the ending of which is not easily guessed), Kirk Mitchell provides the reader with information concerning Native American tribes and their customs. Recommended reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Connie Copenhaver on March 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having lived in Arizona most of my life and hiked down Havasupai, rafted the Colorado, backpacked off Toroweap and Rim to Rim, I loved the setting for this book. Helped me relive all those beautiful places. Additionally, I learned what is happening on our reservations, with dismay, I might add. Both gaming and the Rastafarian influence on Indian youth is such a change in way of life and values. Mitchell portrays the complex issues very well and continues to give his Indian protagonists dignity while struggling with their human frailties. I hope more people read Mitchell's books to gain information on places not usually visited by "tourists" and to learn to respect a way of life not tied into the crass consumerism of modern America.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Woods on September 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book alot. The main characters weve well developed. The intensity of the story reached a high level early and maintained its self to the end. The plot was well thought out and seemed very believeable.Especially enjoyed the southwest setting as described by the author. Rather than a mystery I feel this is an excellent adventure story that grabs you from begining to end!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bright Bear on October 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's a lot of suspense and it's a good plot. However, there is NO chemistry between Turnipseed and Parker. It's annoying in a movie when the actors obviously don't have chemistry, but how can the author achieve no chemistry when the author is the one creating the relationship? I found the relationship to be weak, unconvincing, and a distraction and it undercuts a lot of the motivation in the story. Mitchell could take a lesson from Margaret Coel who knows how to create chemistry. Also, to address the comparisons to Hillerman, I would say that Hillerman's plots are some of the most ingenious I have ever read - especially when, in several of them, justice is served to the satisfaction of the white and red worlds but the justice was very different in each world and the white characters actually have no clue as to what really went on and would not be satisfied if they did. I am an avid reader of mystery books, especially ones that involve Native Americans in some way, and, after reading Cry Dance, I will probably not be reading a lot more of Mitchell.
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