Charlie Yazzi worked with Navajo Nation Legal Services and was on his way back to the office when he stopped for lunch. Hiram Buck caught up with Charlie at the restaurant and told him about a young boy who was seen alone in an Anasazi ruin up in the canyons.
Buck offered to show Charlie where he spotted the boy, and the two saddled a couple of horses and headed into the canyons. Charlie went on alone eventually rescuing the boy. Unfortunately, his sister and mother were still missing. As Charlie was bringing the boy out of the canyons, someone took a shot at him.
The children’s mother, Sally Klee, and several others were scheduled to testify in the Greyhorse court case and it was believed someone wanted to use the children to make sure Sally Klee stayed silent. Charlie realized his friend Thomas Begay was the father of the two children, although Begay was no longer involved with their mother.
As Charlie and Thomas searched for Sally and her daughter, they ran into a female horse trader and several others who helped them in their search to find out the truth behind a string of murders that seemed to have no connection to one another. Sue Hanagarni, a close friend of Charlie’s, and who also worked at Legal Services, played an instrumental part in helping him with the case. Who was trying to derail the court case, and why, set in motion this intriguing mystery.
Boy Made of Dawn (A Navajo Nation Mystery) was the second book in this series by R. Allen Chappell. The first was Navajo Autumn. He also wrote The Fat of the Land, a collection of short stories. Boy Made of Dawn is a continuation of Navajo Autumn with several returning characters.
Chappell is a good story teller and pays close attention to detail. His stories have a strong sense of place and a steady pace that keeps the pages turning. The author seems to have a thorough understanding of the Ute and Navajo ways of life and makes good use of the research he has collected. The ending of the story hints that there are more stories to come in this series. That is good news!
The author also includes a glossary and notes that add further information for those who are interested in learning more about Native American culture.
A special thank you goes to R. Allen Chappell for providing me with a complimentary copy of Boy Made of Dawn (A Navajo Nation Mystery). His books are available on Kindle and in print on Amazon.com.