Killing Raven by Margaret Coel

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Killing Raven by Margaret Coel was a find when I went used book shopping in Cortez, CO.  BOOKS is an amazing used bookstore in an old house.  Bookshelves to the ceiling, stacked high with books.  If you are a booklover and driving through the area it is more than worth the stop.  This is the ninth installment in there series and is firmly in the mystery genre.

This is my first Margaret Coel novel and it will not be the last.  I generally read novels in order but this one was calling my name and so I dived right in.  I read it in a couple of hours..  We are heading toward Arapaho territory in a couple of weeks and so I have no regrets at all.

The formula is the same for all mystery novels that occur on Indian reservations, there is the FBI agent, the BIA chief of police, and then the protagonists.  The protagonists in this, series are Vicky Holden and Father John O’Malley, the resident Catholic priest in charge of the missionary church and community.  The series takes place on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming near the town of Lander, WY.

The book centers around the death of a white man found on a notorious section of the reservation and the politics surrounding the building and running of the new casino on the reservation.  The ensuing story is one of Indian politics and the implications of gambling within the Indian community.  The strained relationship between Father John and Vicky adds an interesting backdrop to the resolution of the story.

The book is extremely well written and captivating from the opening paragraph.  It really resonated with me as we are currently staying on the Southern Ute Reservation at the Sky Ute Casino RV Park.  I never truly grasped the politics and intricacies involved in Indian casinos.  Different state, different tribe but it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine there were similar underlying issues and concerns when the Sky Ute Casino was built.

Sitting down for a cup of tea with Father John and Vicky would be incredibly interesting.  I’m a Catholic and I’ve never known a priest personally who was in love with a woman with whom he had regular contact.  I’m sure it’s not all that uncommon but I also think it would be an interesting dynamic to witness firsthand

Five out of five stars for getting me incredibly interested in a new series and writing remarkable characters.  I will be seeking out other books in the series as we travel the nation.

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