When his beloved wife died, Bureau of Indian Affairs special agent Joe Evers went off the rails. After a badly bungled investigation, it's no secret that most of his co-workers want him to retire as soon as possible, so Joe starts thinking about a career change. But when a prominent politician's bullet-riddled car turns up on the Navajo Nation twenty years after he disappeared during a corruption probe, Joe Evers is given this cold case as his final investigation... and he will be watched closely.
Partnered with Navajo tribal officer Randall Bluehorse, Joe travels around antagonizing potential suspects, including the politician's widow who is running for the office of governor of New Mexico. He's also dealing with a new romance and his troubled relationship with his daughter, and it's never a good idea to be on an emotional roller coaster during an important investigation. As he uncovers a murderous conspiracy, it becomes more and more unclear if Joe will solve the case or if he'll even stay alive.
John Fortunato's Dark Reservations has good pacing, a solid mystery, and an evocative setting. Unfortunately, the book is The Joe Evers Show, and I never warmed up to the character. I found Joe to be whiny and mired in a pity party of "everyone's so mean to me." I did get tired of the squad's attitude toward him, but when I finally found out what Joe had done, I could understand why they felt the way they did. His alcoholism also seemed to be an on-again-off-again thing.
Wanting to know the resolution of the mystery and being familiar with the setting are the two things that kept me reading Dark Reservations. I've enjoyed other books which had unlikeable characters, but Joe Evers was a bit more than I wanted to handle.
Dark Reservations by John Fortunato
Minotaur Books © 2015
Hardcover, 352 pages
Police Procedural, Standalone
Source: Purchased from Book Outlet.