After a construction crew finds a body, cops found three more in a cluster that lay on both sides of the border of the Navajo Reservation. Because some of the bodies were buried outside the Reservation, Navajo Police Special Investigator Ella Clah and her team must work a delicate joint investigation with the New Mexico police. Identifying the victims isn’t easy. Eventually, one of the bodies turns out to be that of a missing man who was believed to have embezzled funds from his construction firm and suspicions focus on the man’s partner.
With no obvious links between any of the victims except that they all went missing on the same day, each one year apart, Ella feels frustrated by the investigation’s lack of progress. Unless they can find what connects these victims, someone else may soon be killed as the anniversary date is approaches.
Black Thunder is Book 17 in the Ella Clah series. If you’ve read the previous books in the series, you will enjoy catching up on Ella and all the other supporting characters.
If you haven’t read any of these books, and you love Tony Hillerman, here’s a description to tell you more about this series. Ella Clah is a Navajo, former FBI agent, who is now head of a tribal police unit. She grew up near Shiprock, New Mexico. Her father was a Modernist and a Christian preacher, and her mother is a Traditionalist who follows the old tribal ways. When the series begins, she is working for the FBI in Los Angeles. When her father is murdered, she returns to the reservation to help solve the murder. Even though it’s a difficult decision for her, she decides to stay on the reservation and join the Navajo Tribal Police for good.