White Thunder

An Ella Clah Novel

Ella Clah (Volume 10)

Aimee Thurlo and David Thurlo

Forge Books

FBI area supervisor Simmons asks the Navajo Tribal Police to help locate Andrew Thomas, a federal agent who disappeared after interrupting a Navajo ritual being performed by a group of medicine men or hataaliis. Simmons voices his displeasure when Special Investigator Ella Clah is assigned to the case; he believes that Ella became an FBI agent, more than a decade earlier, due to affirmative action-and that she left because the job was too tough for her.
Ella ignores Simmons' pettiness, knowing that finding the missing man is the highest priority. She won't allow family issues to get in the way, so she asks her daughter's father to become a full-time parent for the duration of her investigation. She even questions her brother, a hataalii himself, about Agent Thomas. Could a medicine man have punished Thomas for disturbing the Sing?
Startlingly, Ella receives a disturbing cell phone call that seems to be from Thomas himself. He's trapped in a dark place, lost and hurt. Ella realizes that time is running out.
With the hataaliis cleared, Ella follows up on Thomas's investigation into Social Security fraud. She is disturbed to see evidence that seems to point to her old friend and Thomas's immediate superior, FBI agent Blalock. Could Blalock steal money and assault one of his own men? Ella can't believe it.
The fraud trail leads through a maze of paperwork, banks, government offices, mortuaries, and into the Navajos' most dearly held-beliefs about death. Only by finding the truth-and fast-will Ella be able to save Andrew Thomas.

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Read an Excerpt


Day one

Special Investigator Ella Clah could feel the promise of rain in the cool breeze coming in her open driver’s side window. The wind had a fresh and clean scent, as if it had just passed through a cloud.It was September and New Mexico’s rainy season was tapering off. A three-year drought had plagued the land and most of the storms had amounted to nothing more than howling wind, blowing dust, and darkened skies. Mother Earth was parched, and animals had gone hungry as they’d searched for something other than cheat grass and snakeweed to graze on. Some


Praise for White Thunder

"Mystery readers who like their murders solved by applied intelligence will love Ella Clah."
--Tony Hillerman

"Gripping. The Thurlo team brings the tensions inherent in Navajo life alive by showing the myriad ways in which the tribe's traditionalists conflict with the progressives. The Thurlos also focus on how modern crime investigation conflicts with the Navajo belief in chindi, or the evil that remains at death scenes and must be avoided. A spirited blend of Navajo culture and police procedure."--Booklist (starred review) on Tracking Bear

"Tracking Bear is a great police procedural that gives readers an insightful look into the culture of the Navajo living on the reservation today. The who-done-it is complex, compelling and exciting."--Midwest Book Review

"Realistic, fast-paced, and intense. Action scenes keep the plot moving at a quick pace with some surprises along the way, adding to the excitement."--School Library Journal on Changing Woman

"A hair-raising opening. The Thurlos hit all the right notes: they have an intriguing, growing character at the center of a series that combines fast-moving plots and a wealth of fascinating cultural information."--Booklist on Wind Spirit

"Red Mesa is an engrossing mystery as intricately woven as a fine Navajo rug. It kept me guessing to the end."--New York Times bestselling author Margaret Coel

"A fascinating story. Ella Clah, strong and vulnerable at the same time, is an intriguing character of great depth, and the surprise ending will delight all mystery lovers."
i0--Romantic Times on Red Mesa

"An intense, spellbinding family drama in which the battle between good and evil affects both modernist and traditionalist Navajo. Prime reading for fans of Tony Hillerman and other Southwestern mysteries."--Library Journal on Red Mesa

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Aimee Thurlo and David Thurlo

  • Aimée and David Thurlo live in Corrales, New Mexico. They are the authors of the Ella Clah novels and of the Lee Nez and Sister Agatha series. David was raised in Shiprock, on the Navajo Reservation; Aimée was born in Cuba.
  • Aimée Thurlo


Available Formats and Book Details

White Thunder

An Ella Clah Novel

Ella Clah

Aimee Thurlo and David Thurlo



Forge Books