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“The Girl with Braided Hair ”

Written on: 08/07/2007 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The Girl with Braided Hair

Margaret Coel

Berkley, Sept 2007, $25.95, 320 pp.

ISBN 9780425217122

Near the Wind River Reservation where the Arapaho tribe lives, a skeleton is unearthed in an out of the way ravine. At first glance the authorities believe it is an Indian woman because of her long dark braid and the clothing that was from the 1970's; a time when AIM was stirring up trouble with the whites and against Indians who didn't agree with them. Records don't show any woman missing from the tribe during that time period.

Several Indian women asks attorney Vicky Holden to inquire when the police will find out her name so they can release the body and give her a proper burial. Vicky is now in practice with Adam Lone Eagle normally taking on clients with major cases that impact many people and issues. However, this death in which the woman was tied up with all her bones broken and a bullet wound to the head affects her deeply and she starts investigating as does Father John the catholic priest whose mission as on the reservation. Vicky receives threatening notes and is shot at; she realizes the killer is hiding on the rez behind people afraid to give him away.

What Tony Hillman has done for the Navaho, Margaret Coel has done for the Arapaho. There are two storylines running in alternating chapters; the first is the woman whose bones were found in the present goes on the run because AIM leaders thought she was an FBI snitch who got another leader killed. The second begins with finding out in the present who killed her. Both tales are exciting and filled with suspense and danger. This is a must read for anyone who loves a great mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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