A serial murderer is terrorizing Seattle, hunting and scalping white men. And the crimes of the so-called Indian Killer have triggered a wave of violence and racial hatred. Seattle's Native Americans are shaken and confused, none more so than John Smith. Born Indian, raised white, Smith desperately yearns for his lost heritage and seeks his elusive true identity. He meets Marie, a stormy Indian activist particularly outraged by people like Jack Wilson, the mystery writer who passes himself as part Indian. As a bigoted radio personality incites whites to seek revenge, tensions mount, Smith fights to slake the anger that engulfs him...and the Indian Killer claims yet another life. Lauded as a poet and author of exceptional lyricism and humor, Sherman Alexie now dips his pen in something stronger-and offers a gritty and eye-opening novel of alienation and justice.
Native American Sherman Alexie's new novel is a departure in tone from his lyrical and funny earlier work, which include The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues. The main character is an Indian serial killer who incites racial tension by murdering whites in retribution for his people's history. The killer leaves clear signs of his motives by scalping his victims, and leaving feathers as gestures of Indian defiance. The killer is a conflicted creation--raised by loving white parents, but twisted by loss of his identity as an Indian. Alexie layers the story with complications and ancillary characters, from a rabid talk show host, to vengeance seeking whites, to liberals who find their patronizing espousal of Indian causes no longer so easy.