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Eye of the Wolf    by Margaret Coel order for
Eye of the Wolf
by Margaret Coel
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Margaret Coel presents another engrossing Wind River Reservation mystery. Catholic priest John O'Malley receives a chilling telephone message that appears to promise revenge for an ancient massacre. His hope that this is a hoax dies when he finds three bodies, positioned to mimic corpses from an historic battle between Arapahos and Shoshone. Today, descendants of both nations share the Reservation. O'Malley fears that the unknown killer wants to create dissent and conflict.

Vicky Holden, an Arapaho attorney and friend of O'Malley, takes on a case that appears to confirm his fears. Ne'er-do-well Frankie Montana is also Arapaho, and seems to enjoy ruffling feathers. The victims found by Father O'Malley are the three Shoshones with whom Frankie recently had a violent altercation. Needless to say, Frankie is the favourite suspect.

Once again, Vicky and Father John are allied as their concerns mesh: she is probing beyond the easy suspect, Frankie; he is anxious to prevent a resurgence of old tribal conflicts. Certainly, they encounter complications: the pregnant, Caucasian girl-friend of one of the victims, her neo-Nazi bully of an ex, and, most disturbing, the increasingly militant friends and family of the Shoshone victims. Vicky is also upset by the displeasure of her law partner and new lover, who feels she is wasting her time and talents on a loser, particularly as their fledgling firm is beginning to attract more prestigious cases.

However, she is unable to resist Frankie's desperate mother, and finds herself in physical danger as well as risking her relationship with Adam. Father John also treads a dangerous path, spurred on by his concern for the peace of the reservation as well as his regard for Vicky. Once again Coel delivers a well-crafted mystery and a visit with interesting characters. Eye of the Wolf is a good, solid read as well as a glimpse into a way of life of which most of us are totally unaware.

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