cover image Death Along the Spirit Road

Death Along the Spirit Road

C.M. Wendelboe, Berkley Prime Crime, $14 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-24002-1

Wendelboe's debut, the absorbing first in a new Native American series, introduces FBI special agent Manny Tanno, a former Oglala Sioux tribal cop. When someone buries a war club in the head of Jason Red Cloud, an ambitious developer who put together a coalition of interests to build a resort overlooking the Wounded Knee site on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, Tanno reluctantly leaves his FBI academy teaching job to investigate. Tanno must face the enmity of acting chief Leon "Lumpy" Looks Twice as well as the tribe's distrust of FBI agents rooted in the American Indian Movement fiascos of the 1970s. To complicate matters further, Tanno's brother, Reuben, is a prime suspect. The residual animosities that divided the tribe during AIM's heyday, the awful heritage of the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the plight of the residents of the "poorest county in the nation" form a somber backdrop. (Mar.)