cover image Sisters of the Lost Nation

Sisters of the Lost Nation

Nick Medina. Berkley, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-54685-7

Who’s responsible for the disappearance of members of Louisiana’s Takoda tribe? That question, inspired by the real-life epidemic of disappearances of Native Americans in both the U.S. and Canada, drives the plot of Medina’s pulse-pounding debut. Anna Horn, one of the few from the Takoda reservation to attend high school in the nearby town, is routinely subject to bullying and harassment. Anna is also troubled by the disappearance several months earlier of 19-year-old best friends Erica Landry and Amber Bloom, who also lived on the reservation. She’s skeptical that the teens just ran off, and fears their fate is linked to an older mystery: 10 years earlier, Shelby Mire, “the last of the Takoda tribe’s official singers and Legend Keepers,” was murdered, an unsolved crime that still haunts the surviving tribe members. Then, after someone else close to Anna vanishes, she searches frantically for answers, unsure whether the disappearances are linked to a new casino that the police suspected would attract riffraff or if something supernatural is at play. Medina resolves the plot well and gracefully weaves real-life concerns about disappearing Native people into the whodunit plot. This author is off to a strong start. Agent: Amanda Orozco, Transatlantic Agency. (Apr.)