cover image Never-Ending-Snake: An Ellah Clah Novel

Never-Ending-Snake: An Ellah Clah Novel

Aimée and David Thurlo, Forge, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2450-4

At the start of the Thurlos' engaging 16th Ella Clah mystery (after 2009's Earthway), two gun men ambush Ella, a special investigator for the Navajo Tribal Police; attorney Kevin Tolino, Ella's ex-boyfriend and father of her 11-year-old daughter; and Afghanistan war hero Adam Longwolf, now a Navajo lobbyist, at the landing strip outside Shiprock, N. Mex., shortly after their return from a trip to Washington, D.C. Ella and Kevin escape serious injury, but not Adam, who it turns out was carrying $75,000 in a Monopoly game though he's in no condition to explain why. Since Kevin had been building a case against casino manager Alan Grady for suspicious practices, Ella and Chief Big Ed Atcitty wonder if Alan was behind the attack. Another possibility is someone connected to the controversial Prickly Weed Project, which is developing alternative fuel on tribal lands. As the complicated, sometimes detail-heavy investigation unfolds, Ella must juggle her feelings for Kevin and her prim love, Rev. Ford Tome. (Sept.)