Reviewed By: Jennifer Jordan
Amazon US PB Amazon Canada PB
Class/Genre: Mystery Native American
Warner Books 1998 Mystery/Race Relations
This book will walk you down a different road than Alexie's earlier works. Left behind is the humor and flowing prose of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues. Instead he hits hard in a story wrought with racial tension, anger and a serial killer bent on retribution.
This is a dark tale profiling the life of the ironically named John Smith, an Indian raised by whites, who feels unwelcome in both worlds. He chooses to walks the streets delusional and unfocused until a chance meeting with Indian activist Marie Polatkin and a destiny he feels take hold of his mind. Is he the "Indian Killer" murdering and scalping white men; the man that throws the delicate balance of the city of Seattle into accusations and racially motivated violence? Or is he a victim of a society that, by trying to do right, has done a horrible wrong?
This grim tale is made into a feast of words by Alexie's characteristic sardonic wit and the mulit-layered storylines of his haunted characters. Not until the very the bitter end will all be revealed and you may well be a different person when you finally lay this book to rest.
A superb thriller and a compelling lesson.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Jennifer Jordan