"Great police procedural"
Money is scarce on the Navaho reservation and the lack of
funds in the police department means less officers and
increasingly faulty and out of date equipment. Officer
Frankin calls in a possible burglary in progress and
requests help but the broken radio stopped working before
he can give a location. By the time Ella Clah, the officer
in charge of the special investigations unit, finds him, he
is dead with a bullet in his brain.
It is clear that money is needed to upgrade the equipment
and hire more officers. NEED (Navaho Electrical Energy
Development) thinks they have the solution to the problem.
They want to build a small clean nuclear power plant on the
reservation believing it is a step in making the tribe self-
sustaining. There is a large segment of the Navaho
population that doesn't want anything to do with the
project and those who are adamantly opposed to the project
wind up dead or shot at. It looks like the NEED forces are
turning militant but Ella suspects a cold-blooded killer is
making it look that way while pursuing a personal agenda.
TRACKING BEAR is a great police procedural that gives
readers an insightful look into the culture of the Navaho
living on the reservations today. The novel displays the
schisms in the tribe between the traditionalists and the
modernists as well as the new traditionalists. The who-
done-it is complex, compelling and exciting with a plethora
of suspects from a grieving father to a Navaho activist.
Aimee & David Thurlo have written another fascinating
installment in this popular mystery series.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted March 10, 2003
A group of businessmen is working to open a uranium mine
and nuclear power plant on the Navajo Reservation. The NEED
project will provide cheap power to the Navajo nation,
employ many who are out of work, and earn income for the
tribe by selling surplus power to Arizona, New Mexico, and
other western states. Investigating the murder of a Navajo
cop during a break-in and robbery, Navajo Police Special
Investigator Ella Clah learns that the dead man's father, a
retired physicist, is strongly opposed to uranium mining
and nuclear plants. Ella's mother, Rose, opposes the plans
as well, taking as her cause the health of the workers and
the land. Kevin Tolino, the father of Ella's daughter,
hires a bodyguard after receiving threats because of his
public support of the project. A Navajo community college
teacher is assaulted, and his office and home ransacked-
apparently by the same person who murdered the Navajo
police officer.A tribal official who opposes NEED is
murdered. Clues seem to lead to a major supporter of the
nuclear project, but the man insists he's being framed.
Other area murders are also linked to NEED supporters-but
why would a group of wealthy businessmen kill their
opponents when they could just outspend them? There has to
be more going on than political wrangling, but Ella is
fumbling in the dark, with uncooperative witnesses and few