Taggart Roper returns to take on the case of a young Cherokee accused of the murder of a brutal lawman in a corruption-riddled Oklahoma town and finds himself caught in the middle of racial tensions, Native American militants, and a sinister atomic energy corporation.
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Native American rights, antinuclear protests and a much-disliked murder victim highlight the third Taggart Roper mystery (following A Death on 66). Roper, an Oklahoma writer and ex-reporter, looks into the arrest of the cousin of his girlfriend, Rita Ninekiller. Chris Badwater, a Cherokee, has been charged with the tomahawk murder of Sizemore County Sheriff Rowland Jordan near the site of a nuclear reactor. Badwater isn't even trying to defend himself: a radical movement called the War Party has convinced him to keep his mouth shut and become a martyr for the cause of Native American rights. Jordan, who abused his wife and daughters, makes a perfect victim. Roper's mere presence stirs things up; certainly the local police force, which is up to its shoulder holsters in corruption, doesn't take kindly to his probings. Sanders reinvigorates such mystery plot conventions as crooked police departments and the close-mouthed suspect while depicting modern Cherokee life with succinct force.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The sheriff of rural Sizemore County in Oklahoma is murdered with a tomahawk he had earlier confiscated from Chris Badwater, a young Indian activist and environmental protester. Badwater is summarily arrested and dumped in jail. His cousin Rita enlists her boyfriend, Tag Roper, a writer and reluctant sleuth, to help prove Chris' innocence. Tag expects a rural version of Casablanca's "round up the usual suspects" in which Native Americans are always suspect, but he finds something much more complex and sinister: the sheriff's office may have ties to the owners of the local nuclear reactor, and they may have their own motives for seeing Badwater convicted. Roper is easy to identify with: he's a regular guy with a dream of living as a writer, but he's forced by economic necessity to immerse himself in the seamy side of life. This third installment in Sanders' fledgling series is the best yet. Expect a very bright future for Tag Roper and friends. Wes Lukowsky
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, New York, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 001997