- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (September 5, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425211711
- ISBN-13: 978-0425211717
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Drowning Man (A Wind River Reservation Mystery) Hardcover – September 5, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of bestseller Coel's appealing 12th mystery (after 2005's Eye of the Wolf), the people of Wyoming's Wind River Reservation are devastated when an ancient petroglyph, the Drowning Man, vanishes from a wall of sacred Red Cliff Canyon. An Indian messenger tells Fr. John O'Malley, the pastor of St. Francis Mission, to inform the Shoshones and Arapahos they must pay a $250,000 ransom for the rock art, which was chiseled off the wall. Father John obliges, but also alerts the FBI. Meanwhile, attorney Vicky Holden decides to represent Travis Birdsong, who's serving time for killing his alleged partner in a glyph theft seven years earlier. Enraged locals, who believe Travis didn't get a fair trial, want Vicky's firm to concentrate on keeping a logging company from desecrating Red Cliff Canyon. Father John's conflicted feelings for Vicky, who's not sure she wants to stay with her partner, Adam Lone Eagle, and the arrival of a retired pedophile priest at the mission help keep the emotional temperature high. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
On a beautiful May Wyoming morning, a stranger contacts Father John O'Malley, head of the Jesuit mission on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation. The Drowning Man, a cherished petroglyph, has been stolen, and the stranger wants to ransom it to the tribe. Meanwhile, attorney Vicki Holden reopens the case of an Arapaho convicted of murdering his friend. O'Malley and Holden discover their cases are linked and join forces. This twelfth Reservation mystery continues to display the satisfying hallmarks of the series: well-drawn characters, beautiful descriptions of Wyoming, an edgy air of suspense, and a difficult mystery. Along with a revealing look at the black market in artifacts, Coel develops subplots concerning Holden's relationship with lover and business-partner attorney Adam Lone Eagle, the complex issue of wilderness development, and the even more complex matter of pedophile priests. One of the best of several mystery series dealing with Native American issues and characters. John Rowen
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Father John of the St. Francis Mission and Arapaho lawyer Vicki Holden both get involved in the trouble. Father John has been chosen by the thieves as the man to negotiate with the tribes that wish to buy back their petroglyphs. Vicki is trying to overturn a murder conviction on behalf of an Indian who was somehow associated with the first theft. Sleuthing among murderous thieves endangers both their lives. The action in this book gets quite intense.
Father John is a wonderful character who wears well through book after book. It's a pleasure to ride around the wide-open spaces of Wyoming with him in his battered old truck, with opera blaring out the windows. His willingness to rush off to help his parishioners at all hours is quite endearing, as is his reliance on "miracles" (donations that arrive in the mail in the nick of time) to pay the Mission's overdue bills.
Vicki has a genius for taking up unpopular causes and impossible cases. She barely survives the threats to her life in this book, and that's her usual modus operandi.
As another plot complication, an aging pedophile priest takes refuge at the mission, causing lots of turmoil.
The Drowning Man offers a richly detailed plot, a large cast of complex characters, and an education in the black market for Indian artifacts. It's a very good read.
This series is as much about the interaction of these two characters as it is about the mysteries they find themselves embroiled in. And those mysteries are embellished by the viewpoints of the Arapaho culture , which colors everything in this series as the Navajo culture colored the Hillerman novels.
I am totally enjoying this series.
This story begins with the theft of a sacred petroglyph; a dying old man seeking justice for his grandson imprisoned, and abandoned, unjustly for murder (he believes); and another dying man, a Jesuit priest who arrives at the Mission to find a little peace and quiet. What a tale unfolds...
I said I found it hard to get into initially... true, but as the story unfolded I got caught up in the web Coel had spun. Highly recommended