What did the dead man know?
Jimmy Blacksheep, a Navajo member of the New Mexico National Guard recently returned from Iraq, is killed in what appears to be a carjacking gone wrong. But when Navajo Police Special Investigator Ella Clah receives a mysterious package in the mail, she begins to suspect that Jimmy's death is part of something larger.
Ella finds she must use Navajo lore, not FBI cryptography, to decode Jimmy's message. Tantalizing clues link Jimmy's death to his military service--but what could the medic have seen in Iraq that would make him a target for murder back home?
Ella's personal life seems just as complicated as her case. Her mother, Rose Destea, marries her long-time beau, Herman Cloud. Then the father of Ella's daughter, Dawn, asks for a change in custody arrangements that will reduce Ella to a weekend mother--a much easier fit with her workload but something that will take a terrible toll on her heart.