Wild Indigo Hardcover – Jan 2 2007
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Jamaica Wild, a resource-protection agent for the Bureau of Land Management, fails to save Jerome Santana from being trampled by a herd of buffalo. In fact, the leadership of the Tanoah Pueblo in New Mexico blames her for starting the stampede, not to mention the fact that she was on Pueblo land during Quiet Time, when visitors aren't allowed. Jamaica's investigation to prove Santana's death was murder--freeing her from culpability--leads to an exciting mountain rescue. As she investigates, Jamaica continues to maintain close ties with Momma Anna, Santana's mother, from whom she is learning about Pueblo life. In addition to her Native American studies, Jamaica, a strong-willed yet vulnerable heroine, is raising a rambunctious wolf pup and is romantically involved with forest ranger Kerry Reed. Ault blends the traditions and ceremonies from several Pueblo cultures, immersing the reader in Pueblo life and the beauty of northern New Mexico. An enjoyable series debut for fans of Nevada Barr and Tony Hillerman. Sue O'Brien
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"A fascinating, deeply mysterious read. I loved it." -JAYNE ANN KRENTZ "Ault uses her knowledge of the high-dry West to give us a look at Pueblo Indian culture." -TONY HILLERMAN
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jamaica Wild is an agent for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. When she happens upon Jerome Santana, a local Tiwa, standing stoically in the midst of a herd of corralled male buffalo, she instinctively knows the situation is potentially deadly. The buffalo, tense and skittish with the human in their presence, are moments away from stampede. As Wild continues to lure Santana away, the herd spooks and Santana is trampled to death.
Thus begins Jamaica Wild's voyage into the depths of Tiwa culture within the Tanoah Pueblo, and her exposure to a life foreign to her own. With the help of Momma Anna, an old Tiwa woman to guide her, Wild is gradually exposed to the customs and closely guarded ceremonies that ancient traditions requires of the tribe after the death of a tribe member.
Throughout it all Wild feels there is something amiss. Though not a trained investigator her gut tells her she must dig deeper to uncover the truth. She is deflected by the members of the pueblo at nearly every turn. The help she does receive is cryptic and beyond her knowledge. When she attempts to clarify it with the few members of the pueblo willing to talk, she is thrown off the trail with threats the Tiwa see clearly, but Wild neither perceives nor understands.
The author has crafted an intricately woven web of deceit and mystery that lead into a culture that very will ever be exposed. Her research is extensive, although the characters are fictional, her knowledge of the culture and the location is vividly expressed in her writing. The characters are genuine, the scenes are set dramatically set and wonderfully crafted.
Armchair Interviews says: If you are looking for a mystery that has car chases, lots of weaponry and hard-nosed detective work, Wild Indigo is not for you. If you want a great piece of literature that also includes a mystery, this is your next book.
INDIGO is an exciting, high-paced, beautifully crafted book. But, what I love most about the book goes beyond being an exciting novel.
Ms. Ault clearly has spent so much time researching this book, and clearly has such a love for the Pueblo Indians, that it is contagious to the reader. This book has inspired me to visit an area I previously knew nothing about and to study a people I barely knew existed. I feel as magnetically drawn to this mysterious tribe as the main character, Jamaica Wild, does. I want to have my own "Momma Anna". At the same time, the author really conveys the theme of leaving the People alone and giving them their privacy, leaving me wanting to learn more, but from a respectful distance.
There are hundreds of high-quality, exciting novels on the market today. But, over time, the memory of plot details begin to fade. One thing that cannot fade is an interest and passion, and a desire to research and learn more. This was something that WILD INDIGO provides that most novels do not.
He is killed but war chief Reuben Rael and Wrangler Sonny are more concerned that she is on the rez during Quiet Time. They escort her off their land but Jamica tells her boss that she thinks Jerome, who never uses, was on drugs. The tribe refuses to allow an autopsy and when Jamaica is on the land again, they complain to her boss, saying she caused the buffalo to stampede. He has no choice but to suspend her. Her investigation takes an odd turn, some of it mystical but it takes a near tragedy for the truth to come out.
What Tony Hillerman and Aimee and David Thurlo do for the Navaho, Sandi Ault does for the Tanoah. Readers get a vividly descriptive look at their culture and belief system, trying to maintain the old ways while living in modern times. The heroine is a loving gutsy woman who keeps a wolf for a pet and refuses to let her suspension keep her down. She is a modern day warrior who takes action when she feels that is the proper cause.