cover image Shooting Chant

Shooting Chant

Aimee Thurlo, David Thurlo. Forge, $23.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-312-87061-4

Special investigator Ella Clah of the Navajo Tribal Police gets taken for an exceptionally rough ride in this fifth novel in the series (after Enemy Way), as she confronts a murder investigation, intra-tribal cultural tensions, medical misconduct and family troubles. When a body turns up in the parking lot of Anglo-run LabKote, a company selling sterilized hospital and medical supplies and located on the ""Rez,"" Clah and her small crew launch an investigation. Soon they find themselves trying to unravel a crime wave before it overwhelms the Rez's delicate balance. Meanwhile, tribal tensions, fed by competitions at an Agricultural Society show, are flaring between traditionalists and progressives, with the consequences escalating from petty vandalism to serious hostilities. A break-in at the local medical clinic puts still more strain on Clah's small group and their limited resources, as does the kidnapping of a Native politician, especially when clues point to the Fierce Ones--a vigilante group with which Clah's brother is associated. And Clah's secret pregnancy is also beginning to take its toll. New Mexico-based and partly Navajo Reservation-reared, the Thurlos mix social commentary with plot-twisting suspense in a well-developed and unsentimental tale. (Apr.)