Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Reservations by Richard Paolinelli


This novel mainly follows the story of F.B.I Agent Jack Del Rio as he tries to solve a series of murders on a Navajo reservation. The murders are centered around the legend of the Coyote, and Del Rio's search leads him further and further into the depths of reservation politics.

I was completely engaged for this entire novel. Although I had a guess at who the murderer was early on, the author led me on several hunches and had me questioning every turn. This novel reminded me of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie because the main character was so well written and the investigation was just as intriguing. There were also several timelines and plot lines used that all converged on this murder investigation, and I really enjoyed the way they all weaved together.

It seemed to me that the author was either very familiar with the region, or had done a lot of research on it because the setting he placed the story in felt very real. I also enjoyed the back story given for each of the characters as it helped me place real people in this real setting. I thought the character of Jack Del Rio was well written, and I felt that most of his actions and his reactions were justified. I honestly think that this character made the book, as everything else in the novel was being questioned, you knew which side Del Rio was on. I also liked the character of Lucy Chee, and I think the novel would not have been the same if her point of view had not been included. The romance between them felt natural, and I think the author led up to it well.

If I had a critique for this novel, it would be that sometimes Del Rio's actions were a little harsh and I think I raised an eyebrow at a few of them. However, I do understand that the author has written a human character who is allowed a flaw or two. I also doubted the initial conversation between Del Rio and Chee. She had just met him and divulges her really personal past and he in turn does the same. However these were the only details I was doubting, and overall I really liked the novel.

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