Thursday, September 9, 2010

THE SPIDER’S WEB by Margaret Coel

Publisher: Berkley
Date published: September 7, 2010
ISBN: 978-0425236604
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained via: publisher

Ned Windsong returned to the Wind River Arapahoe Reservation to start over, to get his life in order and leave behind a cloudy and directionless past. He has sought out a grandfather to prepare him for the Sundance. Despite limited time to prepare he works earnestly toward his goal. But a piece of his past stands in his way. Father John O’Malley senses Ned wants to unburden himself, but is unable to reach the younger man to assure him of help. And then a young woman, a white woman, arrives, proclaiming herself as Ned’s fiancĂ©.

Marcy Morrison arrives on the Rez and moves into Ned’s house. While Ned never acknowledges Marcy or their purported relationship, she shares his home until Ned is killed. No, not killed, assassinated. Marcy is able to identify his murderers and flees for her life. Meanwhile, Ned’s former finance, Roseanne also finds herself in the killer’s scope. In a race against time Father John and attorney Vicky Holden must find the killer, but in a world where they are seen as outsiders, the truth remains hidden.

THE SPIDER’S WEB was my first of Margaret Coel’s Wind River mysteries. I have her entire back list on my shelf, but this was my first opportunity to read her for review. I didn't feel much emotion in the story. If it was stoicism by characters’ culture, the idea was not conveyed. A man is killed, and while we are told some of the characters grieve and how they do so, I didn't get any feeling of sadness myself. I didn't feel any connection to either Roseanne or Marcy at their loss of Ned or their desperation to avoid the killer. I suspect the unrequited romance between Father John and Vicky is explored but if a few comments had not been made, I wouldn’t have known. Not that it matters because the book is about them trying to find a killer before anyone else is murdered at his or her hands.

The ending was less than satisfying. I’m in the camp that likes to see the bad guy get caught. Maybe he or she will be in the next book, but the ending of THE SPIDER’S WEB left me feeling like I missed something along the way.

That said, I loved the Arapahoe lore. The descriptions of the locales were marvelous. I could easier imagine being there, especially the ending where the description of the Sundance is revealed.

If you like an armchair mystery, this is a good choice. I do plan to read the earlier books and then revisit THE SPIDER’S WEB to see if it evokes more emotion in me. As a standalone it was an interesting read.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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