Review

Eye of the Wolf

by Margaret Coel



It is hard to believe that Margaret Coel began her Wind River
Reservation series some ten years ago with THE EAGLE CATCHER, which
introduced readers to Father John O'Malley and defense attorney
Vicky Holden. Each subsequent novel has featured an intriguing
mystery as well as a shift in the emotional but platonic
relationship between O'Malley and Holden. The latest installment in
this series is no exception.

EYE OF THE WOLF begins with a cryptic telephone message that is
left for O'Malley on an answering machine. This leads him to the
site of a historic battlefield, one that resulted in the slaughter
of an Arapaho Indian village by U.S. forces, aided by Shoshone
scouts. In modern times Arapahos and Shoshones are somewhat uneasy
neighbors on the Wind River Reservation, with their antagonistic
history providing a shadowy backdrop, gone but not entirely
forgotten.

But past differences are brought to the forefront when O'Malley
discovers the bodies of three Shoshones on the old battlefield,
positioned to mimic those of the dead killed in the historic
battle. Frankie Montana, a chronic client of Holden's, is the
primary suspect. Despite Montana's recidivistic tendencies, Holden
does not believe he is capable of murder. It eventually becomes
clear to Holden and O'Malley that someone is attempting to revive
the long-dormant conflict between the Arapahos and Shoshones ---
and that Holden has placed herself in terrible danger on behalf of
her client.

While Coel has created an extensive backstory contributing to the
Wind River Reservation mythos, it is not necessary to read what has
transpired before EYE OF THE WOLF. The tension between O'Malley and
Holden builds from page to page, as they struggle to protect the
innocent --- and each other --- from an unknown malefactor. At the
same time, both are protective of O'Malley's priestly vows, even as
their emotions practically --- but subtly --- beg for
violation.

EYE OF THE WOLF is an excellent introduction to the Wind River
Reservation series, while providing a welcome return to the area
and its people for longtime followers of the series. Given the
longevity of these novels, it is clear that Coel can continue to
explore this beautiful, dangerous landscape for as long as she
wishes. Recommended.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011

Eye of the Wolf
by Margaret Coel

  • Publication Date: September 5, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley
  • ISBN-10: 0425208095
  • ISBN-13: 9780425208090