Cry Dance

Kirk Mitchell, Author
Kirk Mitchell, Author Bantam Books $23.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-553-10810-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-553-57914-7
Hardcover - 546 pages - 978-0-375-43265-1
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-1-4417-0078-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 8 pages - 978-1-4417-0077-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-0081-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-0084-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-0080-3
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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. (Mar.)
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