The Ghost Walker (Wind River Reservation Series #2)

( 1 )


Father John O'Malley comes across the corpse lying in a ditch beside the highway. When he returns with the police, it is gone. The Arapahos of the Wind River Reservation speak of Ghost Walkers—tormented souls caught between the earth and the spirit world, who are capable of anything.

Then, within days, a young man disappears from the Reservation without a trace. A young woman is found brutally murdered. And as Father John and Arapaho lawyer ...

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The Ghost Walker

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Father John O'Malley comes across the corpse lying in a ditch beside the highway. When he returns with the police, it is gone. The Arapahos of the Wind River Reservation speak of Ghost Walkers—tormented souls caught between the earth and the spirit world, who are capable of anything.

Then, within days, a young man disappears from the Reservation without a trace. A young woman is found brutally murdered. And as Father John and Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden investigate these crimes, someone—or something—begins following them.

Together, Vicky and Father John must draw upon ancient Arapaho traditions to stop a killer, explain the inexplicable, and put a ghost to rest...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this second well-crafted adventure (after The Eagle Catcher), Father John O'Malley discovers a body dumped in a frozen ditch near his small church on the Arapaho reservation in Wyoming. His own truck disabled, Father John gets a ride from an edgy, evasive stranger. When police arrive at the snow-covered roadside, the body has vanished. The Arapahos say the ghost is walking around somewhere, causing trouble until the body is properly buried and the spirit can rest. Sure enough, Marcus Deppert, a troubled young Indian, disappears. His former girlfriend is murdered. Father John learns that the nervous stranger is living with two other men and the drug-using daughter of Vicky Holden, a lawyer and Father John's good friend. Worst of all for the priest, his superiors decide to sell the small reservation church to a shadowy investment group. Against a wintertime Wyoming to chill the bones, Coel skillfully meshes her story lines, offering a host of fine characters: the recovering alcoholic priest whose Jesuit logic often yields to his own weaknesses; his aged, Shakespeare-quoting mentor; and an Arapaho professional woman caught between white and Indian worlds. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Coel, known as an accomplished writer of nonfiction, has recently begun a mystery series set on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. The Ghost Walker is the second book in this series (see The Eagle Catcher, Audio Reviews, LJ 6/1/98), which features Father John OMalley, a priest who administers the Jesuit mission on the reservation. In a Wyoming blizzard, OMalleys ancient Toyota breaks down, and, in going for help, he finds a snow-covered body in the ditch along the road. By the time he makes it back with the police, the body has disappeared, seemingly to become a ghost walkerto the Arapahos, a spirit causing mischief while searching for the path to the Sky World. As further elements of the mystery are introduced, Coel draws a picture of reservation life with skill and sensitivity. While she will no doubt be continually compared with the great Tony Hillerman, she holds her own very well. The audio package and its reading by Stephanie Brush are perhaps less polished than those offered by the major audiobook producers, but the listening experience is nevertheless very enjoyable. Highly recommended for mystery collections.Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Kirkus Reviews
A veteran writer of nonfiction on the West, Coel introduced Father John O'Malley previously in The Eagle Catcher (1995); here, in the second of what may become a series, another mystery is engagingly constructed around the professional (and personal) trials of O'Malley, leader of the St. Francis Mission to the Wind River Indian Reservation in winter-blasted Wyoming. This time there's enough violence, addiction, and incipient romance to keep more than one spiritual advisor on military alert. Father John discovers and then loses track of a body in a ditch. Subsequently, a business cartel threatens to close the Mission; the daughter of the tribal lawyer—a lovely "woman alone" and proven ally named Vicky Holden—comes home with a drug habit in the company of strange men; and two jobless braves go missing. Not to mention that the clerical Toyota pickup is blindsided. Father John is a recovering alcoholic; he prevails one day at a time, emptying a whiskey bottle into the Wind River, locating the murderer, and even finding a way to fund Arapaho basketball.

Coel's inoffensive series (or series-to-be) in the Hillerman tradition finds a space where Jesuits and Native Americans can meet in a culture of common decency. The stories could benefit from a less polite tone and less attention to the minutiae of food, clothing, and—in this case, cold—weather.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425159613
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Wind River Reservation Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 213,025
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Coel

Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Thunder Keeper, The Spirit Woman, The Lost Bird, The Story Teller, The Dream Stalker, The Ghost Walker, The Eagle Catcher, and several works of nonfiction. She has also authored many articles on the people and places of the American West. Her work has won national and regional awards. Her first John O'Malley mystery, The Eagle Catcher, was a national bestseller, garnering excellent reviews from the Denver Post, Tony Hillerman, Jean Hager, Loren D. Estleman, Stephen White, Earlene Fowler, Ann Ripley and other top writers in the field. A native of Colorado, she resides in Boulder.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005


    I loved this book, and am hooked on this series. The reader does a great job, and the characters are wonderful. You really care about Father John and Vicky. It's interesting to hear about the Arapaho history and both cultures living on the reservation. The stories are so exciting, and I find myself yelling at the tape player because I get so caught up in the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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