This is the second of eight (so far) Navajo mysteries. The first was Navajo Autumn. If you like Tony Hillerman this book is similar to his.
I will say up front that Chappell’s writing style is heavy-handed. He violates the SDT rule–show, don’t tell–with abandon. Sometimes he both showed and tolled, just in case we didn’t catch the meaning. There were other distractions, one being several pages describing a feast that could have been summed up in a couple of paragraphs.
The good news is that the story is interesting and the characters work. This is part two of the first book, sort of. In book one, Patsy Grayhorse was killed and Charlie Yazzie risked his life to keep his friend Thomas Begay from being convicted.
In the second book, the Grayhorse trial is upcoming and the evil ones are out to kill the three witnesses. Needless to say, Charlie and Thomas are two of the three. The plot is straightforward, and we know who the evil ones are long before the climax.
I would give this a three-star rating.