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Blood Memory    by Margaret Coel order for
Blood Memory
by Margaret Coel
Order:  USA  Can
Prime Crime, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Margaret Coel, well known for her popular Wind River Reservation series starring Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden (who has a walk-on part here) and Father John O'Malley, now brings us a new heroine in thirty-nine year old Denver investigative reporter Catherine McLeod. Catherine, who was adopted as a child, has obvious Native American roots but has felt no urging to learn more of them. What happens in Blood Memory forces her to do so.

After a professional hit man targets Catherine - and ends up shooting her best friend (gay divorce lawyer Maury Beekner) instead, the reporter's life changes for the worse. Forced out of her home (the killer knows where she lives) she initially finds refuge at a ranch owned by her ex-husband, Lawrence Stern, a wealthy scion of one of Denver's founding families. But the pro follows her there and further attempts on her life make clear to Catherine that he's following her credit trail.

As the killer stalks Catherine, he leaves her sinister messages, building the suspense. Denver Police Detective Nick Bustamante encourages her to drop the investigation and leave the state. But, believing that she's been targeted because of a story she'd recently written about new Arapaho and Cheyenne claims for ancestral lands, Catherine digs deeper into historical atrocity (the Sand Creek Massacre) and modern corporate greed, uncovering her own roots in the process.

In Blood Memory, Margaret Coel gives readers a gripping story, rich in Native American culture and U.S. history, and starring an engaging heroine, who is both tough and vulnerable. I hope to read another Catherine McLeod adventure soon.

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