cover image Enemy Way

Enemy Way

Aimee Thurlo, John E. Stith. Forge, $23.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85520-8

Once again, tradition is clashing with the forces of change on the Navajo reservation where former FBI agent Ella Clah (Bad Medicine, 1997, etc.) is a special investigator. Violent confrontations between two rival gangs, the Many Devils and the North Siders, are increasing. Gang members may or may not be responsible for the brutal death of Lisa Aspass, a teacher. Some among the Dineh, or The People, as the Navajo refer to themselves, blame Anglo influences for splitting them into traditionalists and progressives. A traditionalist vigilante group known as the Fierce Ones targets the gangs, while an Anglo group, The Brotherhood, contracts Ella's death. Both groups are Ella's old enemies, yet her real adversaries may be ""skinwalkers,"" Navajo witches with whom Ella and her brother Clifford have dealt in the past. The savage pace of murder and gang violence is exacerbated when Ella's mother is injured by a twice-convicted drunk driver. In a world out of balance, Ella strives to find the harmony between work and family, tradition and modernity. She herself remains an intriguing bundle of contrasts. (Sept.)