Blood Autumn: A Taggart Roper Mystery

William B. Sanders, Author, Sanders, Author
William B. Sanders, Author, Sanders, Author St. Martin's Press $21 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-11755-9
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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Native American rights, antinuclear protests and a much-disliked murder victim highlight the third Taggart Roper mystery (following A Death on 66). Roper, an Oklahoma writer and ex-reporter, looks into the arrest of the cousin of his girlfriend, Rita Ninekiller. Chris Badwater, a Cherokee, has been charged with the tomahawk murder of Sizemore County Sheriff Rowland Jordan near the site of a nuclear reactor. Badwater isn't even trying to defend himself: a radical movement called the War Party has convinced him to keep his mouth shut and become a martyr for the cause of Native American rights. Jordan, who abused his wife and daughters, makes a perfect victim. Roper's mere presence stirs things up; certainly the local police force, which is up to its shoulder holsters in corruption, doesn't take kindly to his probings. Sanders reinvigorates such mystery plot conventions as crooked police departments and the close-mouthed suspect while depicting modern Cherokee life with succinct force. (Apr.)
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