Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wild Sorrow by Sandi Ault

Sandi Ault was a new discovery for me. I'm glad I was sent a copy of Wild Sorrow to review for Mystery News. Here's my review, reprinted with permission.

Wild Sorrow

by Sandi Ault

Berkley Prime Crime


ISNB 978-0-425-22583-7



Amateur Sleuth

Jamaica Wild and her wolf, Mountain, are tracking a wounded mountain lion when they’re forced to take shelter during a blizzard. The abandoned building turns out to be an old Indian boarding school. That’s where Jamaica stumbles over the defaced body of an elderly Anglo woman.

Wild is the resource protection agent for the Bureau of Land Management, and acting liaison to the Tanoah Pueblo in New Mexico. In that capacity, she knows she accidentally ruined a crime scene. Knowing that, she calls the FBI, her own boss, and her boyfriend, a forest ranger. But, it’s Jamaica’s own contacts with the Tanoah tribe that could reveal the clues to the murder.

No one in the tribe is sorry for the death of the woman, a former teacher at the school. Instead, some celebrate, while others open up to Jamaica, telling her the horrors experienced by Indian children forced to attend the school.

Is it the truth about the murder, or something else in Jamaica’s job that makes her a target? As she tracks the wounded lion, and ATVs illegally using BLM land, she herself is stalked by violent men. She and Mountain are threatened by a neighbor, and find themselves tracked as if they were both prey.

Wild Sorrow is a tragic mystery, with multiple plot lines that intersect. Jamaica Wild is a complex character, torn by her love of Mountain, and wild nature, and her knowledge of the modern world. In its description of nature, and portrayal of Indian history, this is a powerful mystery, evocative of the best of Tony Hillerman, Margaret Coel, and Nevada Barr.

Rating: 4.5

Reprinted, with permission, from Mystery News, Volume 27, Issue 2, April/May 2009.

Sandi Ault's website is

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Joe Barone said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I've put it on my TBR list. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Joe. I know some people bog down a little in Ault's descriptions, but, if you're a fan of either Hillerman or Barr, you will probably appreciate it, rather than be bogged down.

Cathy said...

I'm a fan of Hillerman and Barr. I recently read the first in this series, Wild Indigo, and enjoyed it very much.

Lesa said...

I didn't go back and read the earlier ones by Ault, but I know I'm going to continue the series, Cathy!