Bureau of Land Management Agent Jamaica Wild has witnessed the death of a Tanoah Pueblo man trampled to death by stampeding buffalo. The tribe has declared the incident a suicide, the FBI concurs, and the body is hurried to ceremony before the sun can go down on his spirit.
But Agent Wild suspects foul play. Haunted by the memory of the welts on the man's body, and the strange ecstasy in his eyes, she pursues her own investigation, which leads her into a labyrinth of clandestine Pueblo religious rites, peyote cults, and Hispanic and Tiwa witchcraft. But Jamaica has promised the mother of the victim, the beloved matriarch of the Santana family, that she will find out what really happened to her son. Until Anna Santana took her in long ago, Jamaica was a stray, much like the wary wolf pup she has just rescued.
When the tribal government and the local paper make allegations that Jamaica caused the stampede, she soon finds herself banned from the Pueblo, suspended from her job-and allied with an old, reclusive curandera who induces trances and casts spells. Ultimately, Jamaica will discover that the answer to the mystery is contained in another secret, perhaps the greatest secret regarding Tanoah Pueblo-one that threatens its future and its past.