When tribal chairman Oscar Sweetwater asks Charlie Moon to look into the murder of a fellow Ute, Billy Smoke, Charlie agrees, but he doesn't expect to find anything. After all, Billy's boss, U.S. Senator Patch Davidson, nearly died in the ambush that night, too, so the FBI handled the investigation and it's still unsolved. The senator does happen to be Charlie's neighbor, though-their ranches share a fence line-so maybe the senator will be more forthcoming with him than he was with the FBI.
Meanwhile, Charlie's aunt Daisy, an elderly tribal shaman whose visions are looked upon by Charlie with skepticism even when they ring true, has seen a woman desperate for Charlie's help. Daisy begins to badger Charlie to look for her, even though she can't tell him her name, where to look, or why she's in trouble.
All in all, it's shaping up to be another season in which the gentleman rancher spends more time being a reluctant investigator than working on his ranch, helping with the cattle or in the hunt for Two-toes, the bobcat who's been sneaking up on his men at work. And truth be told, he'd rather go after the cat, who doesn't seem as dangerous as Senator Davidson's enemies or Billy Smoke's "business" connections.
James Doss's novels are consistently acclaimed for their combination of tight, suspenseful plotting and lyrical, authentic rendering of Native American themes and images, and Dead Soul is no exception.