Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery – #BookReview – Native American Literature

Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery

A Reading Ireland Month book

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars  5 stars
“Gardening is not about growing food, but about growing children.”

Book Blurb:

A reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician and discovers that black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Wolf Catcher by Anne MontgomeryIn 1939, archaeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate beadwork, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine-hundred years earlier, was a magician.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

My Review:

Boy, didn’t this one grip me quickly and keep me glued to the pages! I absolutely love reading fiction tales about the ancient history of our own beautiful United States—this one in the spectacular geographical area known as Arizona. Probably better known for searing summer desert heat, the state boasts a multitude of topographical diversity.

Chapel of the Holy Cross, Flagstaff AZ
Chapel of the Holy Cross

Flagstaff, north of Phoenix, is high desert at almost 7,000 feet, a little over eighteen miles from Ridge Ruin. When I was still riding my motorcycle, the girls and I rode to Prescott—and then a short ride to pricey but gorgeous Sedona, the artsy community not far from Flagstaff that features red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls, and inexplicably deep pine forests. Sedona (twenty-nine miles from Flagstaff) is unique and heart-poundingly stunning. While there, I’d recommend a visit to the (active Catholic) Chapel of the Holy Cross built into the red rocks that offer dramatic views.

So I was deeply and thoroughly embroiled in this imaginative novel that split the storyline in dual narratives: The current one and that of the eleventh century capturing a native people written so creatively, you’d swear it was taken from the pages of a diary.

Kate Butler is a freelancer working on an article regarding the discovery in 1939 of a tomb near Ridge Ruin where a man buried nine hundred years previously was obviously a magician and sacred member of the tribe populating the ridge. But was he of the tribe? If not, where did he come from? And here’s where it turns fascinating—enter the world of Kaya, Wolf Catcher, Deer Runner, Badger, and the white wolf, Spirit Warrior.

Wolf Catcher by Anne MontgomeryThe Arizona high desert landscape in the tenth, eleventh century was changed by the active volcanoes of the area forcing tribes to abandon their villages and seek fresh game, water, and arable conditions. Some peoples were peacefully assimilated; some not so peacefully ventured to take by force the attractive conditions offered by distant communities.

Kaya, accepted to her village as a child, is a healer, but still not wholly one of them and keeps herself separate. Her skills, however, are unquestioned having learned from her mother. I loved her character and that of the support characters of the village. Their stories, their lives, come to life and breathe their circumstances to reality in the mind. Their experience as the storyline hurtles to conclusion is gripping.

The novel melds seamlessly much of fact with fiction. I love it when I’m moved to research the veracity of places like Ridge Ruin. Although to be accurate here, the author discloses her own discoveries when she was commissioned to write a feature article about The Magician by the Arizona Highways Magazine, and I must say managed to incorporate a complex tale here combining the tribal experience possibilities into an unputdownable account that includes a crushingly plausible antagonist bent on stealing artifacts.

“Our priority was the guys with guns, not the ones with shovels.”

Loved the cliff-hanging chapter endings. Well researched, well-plotted and paced, a historical mystery that raises still more questions about the migrations and origins of peoples and artifacts found in unlikely places.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts. Trust me, you’ll love it. Totally recommended and out now! 

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Native American Literature, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
ASIN: B09MV1H4N3
Print Length: 382 pages
Publication Date: February 2, 2022
Source: Author inquiry

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Anne Montgomery - authorThe Author: Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, and amateur sports official. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include The Castle, The Scent of Rain, A Light in the Desert, and Wild Horses on the Salt, Montgomery taught high school journalism for 20 years and was an amateur sports official for four decades, a time during which she called baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games and served as a high school football referee and crew chief. Montgomery is a foster mom to three sons. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, musical theater, scuba diving, and playing her guitar.

Find Anne Montgomery on her website: https://annemontgomerywriter.com/

NB: Ms. Montgomery states she has “red hair and freckles” and is American of Irish descent.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Cathedral attribute: Red Rock Realty

 

Bad Medicine (The Medical Students Book 2) by James B Cohoon–#BookReview – #medicalthrillers

“Another nocebo effect in Room 12.”

Book Blurb:

Bad Medicine by James B CohoonFrom busy hospitals in San Diego to the barren deserts of Arizona, this tension-filled thriller, the second installment of The Medical Students series, follows the life and death challenges, the surprising twists and turns, and the ethical dilemmas of two young doctors in their quest to rid the profession of bad doctors who practice bad medicine resulting in bad outcomes.

Book One, Do No Harm, introduced Torrey Jamison and Matthew Preston. Torrey, with her genius IQ, gained acceptance to Stanford Medical School to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon in honor of her little sister, Leia, who died of brain cancer. At Stanford, she met her future husband, Matthew, who pursued medical school for the sole purpose of becoming a prison doctor in order to gain access to—and kill—his father’s murderer who was incarcerated in San Quentin. As their relationship deepened, Torrey was forced to confront the potential value and moral ambiguity of vigilantism.

In this page-turning, stand-alone suspense sequel, Bad Medicine, newlyweds Torrey and Matthew have graduated from medical school and are now new doctors at Kaiser hospital in San Diego. While there, they learn of a friend’s young niece who has fallen victim to a doctor who is running a phony cancer treatment center. Putting their careers and marriage in jeopardy, Dr. Jamison and Dr. Preston agree to help their friend’s family seek the ultimate revenge.

My Review:

While I greatly enjoy medical thrillers, particularly those that impart tidbits of knowledge of the medical field, I must admit to more than once scoffing at scenes in this narrative.

Bad Medicine by James B CohoonTorrey Jamison and Matthew Preston are newlyweds who have taken positions at Kaiser Hospital in San Diego. So far, so good (as my assumption with Kaiser doctors is that they are not particularly well seasoned). Torrey appears to be the brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon in the making, while Matthew is the hard-working nose to the grindstone GP. Matthew measures his responses while Torrey is the brilliant knee-jerk fireball and they both have issues, specifically Matthew who goes totally against his persona to work at San Quentin for the sole purpose of revenge.

However, having fulfilled that act of personal justice, now the wheels have flipped for Torrey and she is head and shoulders into stopping (forever) a doctor who is pulling in major bucks on a phony cancer treatment for children with terminal brain tumors.

I just wasn’t able to swallow that these two medical  residents would risk everything to devote any “extra” time they had to investigating the doctor and his phony practice. The author went for dramatic effect but pushed too unrealistic. The “nocebo effect” wasn’t something I was familiar with and the lack of medical attention afforded the casualty was callous. I couldn’t understand the flip in their moral codes or the choices made as persons of the profession to “do no harm” and found the writing style a bit awkward.

I didn’t read Book 1, but found this standalone a little too improbable. The pacing was a bit slow for me. There will be those who enjoy medical thrillers with twists and they will enjoy but perhaps it just wasn’t the book for me.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
ASIN: B097S4ZFK2
Print Length: 248 pages
Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

 

James B Cohoon - authorThe Author: James Cohoon was the president of a Los Angeles based law firm until his early retirement in 2014. As a civil litigation lawyer for over 30 years, he frequently lectured and published legal articles. His daily work included writing legal briefs for judges and other lawyers which were, in essence, ‘stories’ to fit the facts of his hundreds of legal cases. He resides in California with his high-school sweetheart, Rozanne, with whom he has two children–Kristin, a lawyer who is presently a stay-at-home mother, and Travis, a doctor who is just starting a cardiology fellowship.

Besides playing with his grandsons–Everett and Beckett–James enjoys sighting Orca whales from the San Juan Islands shoreline, playing bridge, and mowing the lawn.

Do No Harm (The Medical Students, Book 1) is his debut novel. Book 2 in the series is in the works.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

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