Terry C. Johnston, . . St. Martin's, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-312-27757-4

Marking a hiatus from Cries from the Earth and Lay the Mountains Low—volumes one and two of a projected trilogy based on the Nez Percé War of 1877—this 16th western in the author's long-running Plainsmen series recounts Crazy Horse's surrender to the U.S. Army at Camp Robinson, Neb. Here the western historian diligently attempts to set straight the diverse and highly questionable account of the shameful events leading up to Crazy Horse's mortal stabbing while he was resisting incarceration in an Army guardhouse on September 5, 1877. The perfidy begins scarcely a day after Crazy Horse's surrender, when the U.S. decides not to honor its promise to give him an agency to the north. It is further compounded when the Army reneges on its pledge to allow him to take a hunting party to gather meat to see his people through the winter. When Crazy Horse is offered the opportunity to scout for the Army to quell a new Nez Percé uprising, he responds eagerly, but a malevolent interpreter bearing an old grudge misquotes him as saying, "we will go north and fight until a white man isn't left." With his credibility undermined by the jealous old Chief Red Cloud, even his friends turn their backs on him. Crazy Horse seeks asylum at his uncle Spotted Tail's agency but is seduced to return, unaware that the Army intends to send him to Florida in chains. Laying bare another chapter in our nation's ignominious history of lies and broken promises in dealing with the Indians, this is a discomfiting chronicle. At times the narrative is bogged down by repetition and unnecessary detail, but fans of the Plainsmen series shouldn't be disappointed. Author tour. (Aug. 14)