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Wild Sorrow, by Sandi Ault

Wild Sorrow by Sandi Ault
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), New York
2009
293 pages

Wild Sorrow is the third story about a blonde Bureau of Land Management conservation officer who encounters more corpses than is her due.  The first two novels, Wild Indigo (which won the Mary Higgins Clark Award) and Wild Inferno, introduced Jamaica Wild and her companion, the wolf Mountain. 

From B&N, this synopsis: Tracking a wounded mountain lion, Jamaica comes across an old Indian School, where children were "Americanized" after being taken from their homes. As a snowstorm sweeps the canyon, Jamaica must take refuge in the abandoned school.

Exploring, Jamaica discovers the desecrated body of an elderly Anglo woman, frozen on the floor. This discovery, combined with the troubled history of the abandoned school, haunts Jamaica throughout the night with the howling wind.

When the FBI takes over the murder investigation she continues searching for the wounded she-lion and her cubs. As the dead of winter settles, arctic temperatures threaten the survival of the mountain lions—and Jamaica herself, as she is stalked by an unidentified killer...

My take:  I love this series, and this book.  There must be a subcategory of mysteries called Indian mysteries written by the likes of Tony Hillerman, which not only give us murder mysteries to solve but also delve into Southwestern Indian lives and culture, honoring the old customs and beliefs while not glossing over the problems of modern Reservation life.  Jamaica Wild is like her name, more comfortable in the isolated outdoors than in cities, more devoted to her wolf than her boyfriend.  The action moves along with breakneck speed but not without thoroughly exploring the sorrows of Indian children taken from their families and abused at the Indian boarding school. 

First line:  "The wind howled like a broken-hearted woman who had given up on life."

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