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The Ghost Walker (A Wind River Reservation Myste) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1997
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If you like Tony Hillerman, you'll also enjoy and appreciate Margaret Coel--whose endearing hero Father John O'Malley treats his Arapaho parishioners with respect and kindness. In his second outing, Father O'Malley has to deal with a disappearing corpse and the suspicions of the local police. Hillerman has called Coel a "master"; he isn't just being kind to a younger writer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In this second well-crafted adventure (after The Eagle Catcher), Father John O'Malley discovers a body dumped in a frozen ditch near his small church on the Arapaho reservation in Wyoming. His own truck disabled, Father John gets a ride from an edgy, evasive stranger. When police arrive at the snow-covered roadside, the body has vanished. The Arapahos say the ghost is walking around somewhere, causing trouble until the body is properly buried and the spirit can rest. Sure enough, Marcus Deppert, a troubled young Indian, disappears. His former girlfriend is murdered. Father John learns that the nervous stranger is living with two other men and the drug-using daughter of Vicky Holden, a lawyer and Father John's good friend. Worst of all for the priest, his superiors decide to sell the small reservation church to a shadowy investment group. Against a wintertime Wyoming to chill the bones, Coel skillfully meshes her story lines, offering a host of fine characters: the recovering alcoholic priest whose Jesuit logic often yields to his own weaknesses; his aged, Shakespeare-quoting mentor; and an Arapaho professional woman caught between white and Indian worlds.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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And trouble there is. Two young men have disappeared from the reservation, and the St. Francis Mission is in danger of being sold to a developer. The ghost is responsible for everything, say the Indians, even when a grandmother slips in her tub.
But Father John has more substantial threats than a ghost to deal with. He gets drawn into the thick of some very nasty action. And the woman he admires most in the world, the Arapaho lawyer Vicki Holden, gets drawn into the action with him. The feeling between Vicki and Father John is almost romantic, except that priests can't have romances. The reader and Father John must be satisfied with a chaste love.
Father John's helpful nature often puts him in the role of an amateur detective. It's fun to watch Father John at work, for example, when he extracts information from a couple of redneck cowboys over a game of pool.
The Ghost Walker is deftly plotted, and nicely spiced with Arapaho traditions and beliefs.