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Blackening Song (Ella Clah)
Blackening Song - Ella Clah
Author: Aimee Thurlo, David Thurlo
Blackening Song is the debut of Navajo FBI agent Ella Clah, who returns to the reservation to investigate the murder of her father, a minister. The ritual nature of the killing makes Ella's brother, a medicine man, the prime suspect. Without cooperation from the tribe, the FBI, or the local police, Ella must plumb the depths of the stru...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780765302564
ISBN-10: 076530256X
Publication Date: 10/9/2001
Pages: 384
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 12 ratings
Publisher: Forge Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Blackening Song (Ella Clah) on
Helpful Score: 1
Outstanding first book in the Ella Clah series. The book introduces LA FBI agent Ella, her Hataalii brother Clifford, mother Rose and close friend Wilson Joe. All of these characters show up in later volumes of the series. Ella returns home to the Navajo reservation in northern New Mexico to find the murderer of her Christian preacher father. Her brother Clifford is the prime suspect and is hiding from the authorities. Ella finds tension between traditional Navajos and modernist Navajos and is drawn into the machinations of the sinister faction in the Navajo Way that call themselves skinwalkers--people who deal in death and evil. These skinwalkers are intent on destroying her entire family. The treatment of native Navajo practices and role the evil skinwalkers play in Navajo life is handled sensatively by the authors. Ella's investigation moves quickly and the action builds to the epic battle between the forces of good and the skinwalkers at the end of the book. Although each book in the series stands on its own, this first volume is important to read to fully understand the role Navajo beliefs play in Ella's life and the cases she undertakes. The background to the special intuitive powers possessed by members of her family is also presented in this first book.
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reviewed Blackening Song (Ella Clah) on + 239 more book reviews
Though perhaps not as well written or complex as some of Hillerman's better works, Blackening Song was certainly a satisfying read, a little slow and plodding.

I will admit though that there are a couple of effective scary moments-- immediately spoiled by Ella's shrill insistance there is no supernatural agents involved.

It was mildly entertaining if you want a no-brainer type of book. But if you want something you can really sink your teeth into, this isn't it. The characters lack depth and the plot is hokey.
reviewed Blackening Song (Ella Clah) on + 96 more book reviews
Love the Indian Lore and I love the writing style. #1 in the series