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Bad Medicine

by Robert Sheckley

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From Kirkus Reviews
En route to a homicide scene--Navajo rights activist Stanley Bitah has been clubbed to death--tribal police officer Ella Clah stops to check out a report of a drunk driver, only to find that Angelina Yellowhair isn't drunk but that she'd been fatally poisoned even before her car crashes. The two apparently unrelated murders are an apt image for this overstuffed novel of Anglo-Navajo conflicts, suspicions, and animosities. Was Bitah killed by one of the fellow coal miners who resented his ties to the militant Navajo Justice Church, or is the murder the work of the white-supremacist Brotherhood, or of the Fierce Ones of the Navajo reservation? It's impossible for Ella to focus on that case, because Angelina's father, influential State Senator James Yellowhair, is leaning hard on Ella and her friend, tribal medical examiner Carolyn Roanhorse, to ignore forensic evidence that Angelina had drugs in her system and shut down that investigation. While Ella's struggling to balance her caseload without losing her cool with any of the dozens of hotheaded suspects, Angelina's tissue samples disappear; her poisoned organs follow; devastating infections break out among Carolyn's patients; and suddenly the medical examiner is on the way to being discredited, fired, and burned out of her home. To top it off, Ella's hated father-in-law is sending her taunting notes from beyond the grave. Where will it all end? Like Ella's two previous cases (Death Walker, 1996, etc.), this one is too much of a good thing; trying to sort out the suspects and subplots is like wandering for hours and hours in a museum filled with fascinating exhibits. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

"Fans of Tony Hillerman will enjoy this thriller. Like Hillerman, the Thurlos offer insight into the Navajo culture and the conflict between the traditional and modern ways of life. An intelligent and entertaining murder mystery."--The Baton Rouge Advocate on Bad Medicine

"This novel has it all: murder, sex, drugs and racial tension on the Rez."--The New Mexican on Bad Medicine

"Fans of Tony Hillerman's Navajo novels will find themselves in familiar territory if they read . . . this well-written mystery."--The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Bad Medicine

"An exciting novel featuring one of the most interesting, multi-dimensional female detectives one could hope to meet. It is the internal struggle between the modern and the traditional, Anglo and Native American ways, which makes this novel more than just another mystery. Not only a good read, but a thought-provoking book as well."
--Page Break, newsletter of Page One on Bad Medicine



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