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Murder on the Red River

Kirkus Reviews

A wild child uneasily transplanted from the White Earth Reservation to a rented house in Fargo meets murder.Though she needs a bogus ID to get served at the bars where she shoots a mean game of pool, Cash, nee Renee Blackbear, 19, already has a lot of miles on her. Taken away from the rez as a child, she's been in and out of more foster homes than she can remember; she's been smoking and drinking since she was 11; and she doesn't mind the fact that her latest lover, farmer Jim Jenson, is married. But even Cash has never seen a murdered man before the August day in 1970 when she follows a radio announcement about a dead body to the Minnesota side of the Red River, where she finds her long-suffering guardian, Sheriff Wheaton, standing over the corpse of a stabbing victim presumed to have come from the Red Lake Reservation. Wheaton has no jurisdiction over a federal reservation, but that doesn't stop Cash, driven by another of the vivid waking dreams she's known for, from driving her Ranchero the 100-plus miles to Red Lake to ask Josie Day Dodge where her husband is. The dead man is indeed Josie Day's husband, nicknamed Tony O for baseball skills that rival those of Twins star Tony Oliva, and another vision brings Cash perilously close to the three men who killed him. The plot in Rendon's adult debut never exactly thickens—this is more coming-of-age story than mystery—but the spare prose-poetry of her descriptions and dialogue is a lot more interesting than anything she has to say about crime or detection.
- February 1, 2017  Visit Website

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