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Blood Memory (A Catherine McLeod Mystery)
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Blood Memory (Catherine McLeod #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  509 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
A new novel from the “master” (Tony Hillerman) of the Wind River mysteries.

Catherine McLeod is an investigative reporter for the Journal, one of Denver’s major newspapers. Her recent coverage of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes filing a claim for twenty-seven million acres of their ancestral lands has made her the target for assassination. Her investigation uncovers a cons
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2008)
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Aug 23, 2016 Marsha rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Margaret Coel is a skilled writer. I have enjoyed all her Wind River mystery series. Blood River is the 1st in a new series featuring Catherine McLeod, ace investigative journalist for a Denver newspaper. She spends most of the book lamenting that her hard won "new life" is being taken from her. Instead of trying to solve the mystery, she whines a lot, ignores the threat, does stupid things, and in the process continually endangers herself and others.
Margaret, you lost me halfway through this s
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it liked it
This is a new protagonist from an author who's other series I really like (the lawyer from that series does appear briefly in this book, but that is the only overlap). I liked about 80% of this, and thought it kind of unraveled a bit at the end, but not badly (maybe frayed at the end is a better analogy). The underlying theme is how Native Americans and big business might collude with casinos so that they both win--I thought it was believable and enjoyed it as a light read.
Feb 07, 2017 Vida rated it liked it
Didn't like it as well as I have liked the Wind River series books I have read. Figured out who was behind the contract to kill the reporter long before it is revealed.
Jan 09, 2017 Roberta rated it it was ok
Certainly nor Wind River. I guess I got spoiled. Too contrived and certainly not a thriller.
Sep 10, 2011 Bookworm rated it liked it
Blood Memory is the first in the Catherine McLeod mystery books by author Margaret Coel.
Catherine is an investigative reporter for a Denver newspaper called the Journal. On one of her nightly routine walks with her golden retriever Rex, Catherine notices she is being followed. Narrowly escaping a brush with death, Catherine becomes involved in a crime investigation and realizes she is being targeted by a hit man. Being an investigative reporter has gotten her plenty of enemies, but she ca
Feb 17, 2015 Diane added it
This book features Coel’s new detective, Catherine McLeod, a smart likeable investigative journalist. She feels compelled to personally figure out why there is a contract out on her rather than let the attractive police detective do it. She knows it’s related to a story she is writing about a plan to build a casino in Denver out near the airport. She does some of the inevitably stupid things that detectives do to put themselves in danger. But mostly I enjoyed the story.

Living in Denver it was fu
Carly Miller
Apr 16, 2015 Carly Miller rated it really liked it
Shelves: lpl-book-club
Truthfully, I'd give this a 3.5, but I rounded up because of the euphoria at the ending.

When I finished this book I stood up and said, "Fuck yeah, Catherine"! I felt as though the author got a little long winded in some parts (did we really need to read the articles Catherine had written?) and breezed past some important details (the reader never really got to know Maury and thus, it wasn't that emotional when he passed away). Plus, I could've used a lot more explanation about what happened to
Mar 22, 2015 Mari rated it really liked it
I would recommend this as a mystery book. I think some of the character development was a bit on the subdued side -- she seems to have a thing for the detective, for example but other than him seeing "very trustworthy" it's hard to really get much of a sense of his persona. Which is fine; it's not the point of the book. But basically all characters other than the main character seemed to be painted with a rather broad, basic brushstroke.

The topic of her identity also seemed a bit understated; sh
Jan 04, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Twenty-seven million acres of ancestral lands is the subject of the recent claims of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes and Catherine McLeod, investigative reporter for Denver’s Journal, is in on the story from the ground floor. The tribal leaders have taken her into their confidence. Catherine was adopted and her mother was Indian so Catherine feels particularly close to this story.

Catherine is noted for digging deep into the background for all her stories but it seems that someone doesn’t want th
Aug 22, 2011 LORI CASWELL rated it really liked it
Catherine McLeod works for The Journal in Denver. She is covering a story about the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes filing to reclaim their 27 million acres of land. Someone doesn't want her to know the details of this deal because she becomes the target of an assassin. She has narrowly escaped his attacks as she continues to uncover many secrets about a conspiracy that leads way back into the past and the founding of Denver itself. She also learns about her own heritage.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this b
Oct 23, 2008 Leslie rated it it was ok
While good enough, this stand-alone just doesn't live up to Coel's Vicky Holden novels. It's as if the idea was there, but the book just never came together. The strong characterizations and descriptions of the land are mostly missing in action, and this thriller about lands sought in reparation for past crimes against the Arapaho and Cheyenne - and in order to put up another Indian casino - just doesn't deliver the same punch Coel's fans are used to. One might suspect that Coel wrote herself in ...more
Mar 15, 2012 C rated it really liked it
Good quick read, well paced mystery. Found myself distracted on anything regarding landmarks and roads trying to picture exactly where in Denver (or surrounding areas) it was!

A couple forehead slap worthy moments. Some very interesting history - I'd like to know just how accurate she got in relation to the Sand Creek Massacre (and historical accounts).

Liked enough to read once, no need to reread, so 3 stars.

I had wondered how many of the first hand accounts Catherine researched were
Gloria Mccracken
Sep 06, 2015 Gloria Mccracken rated it liked it
Margaret Coel wrote herself into a corner awhile back when allowed the two main characters in her best-selling series about an Arapaho lawyer and an alcoholic priest to fall in love. They reached an impasse, so Ms. Coel tried a different tack: a reporter who is covering a Cheyenne/Arapaho demand for reparations for a 100 year old massacre in the form of approval of a casino that has been voted down by Colorado voters. When the reporter is nearly assassinated, it appears that there may be more th ...more
Apr 26, 2015 K rated it liked it
A good premise and an intriguing beginning by Ms. Coel, an author whom I've enjoyed through her Wind River (Father John & Vicki Holden) series. This book began as a 4 star, but about 2/3 through, it deteriorated; the story slowed, the protagonist, who began as a sympathetic female character, became annoying and inconsistent (she's a strong female; wait, no, she's a weak, needy woman ready to seek protection from her scum ex-husband, or fall in love with the handsome and strong detective tryi ...more
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Catherine McLeod, Denver newspaper reporter is covering the Native American quest to open a casino. What she thought was as light fluff piece ends up having a bullet just miss her and hit her friend Maury, finding out the true motivation of all groups involved in the financial assets of the proposed casino, and coming to terms with her Arapaho heritages.
Along her journey she is reunited under 'shaky" circumstances to her ex-husband. She met him while covering his lavish engagement party to a you
Nancy Rogan
Apr 02, 2013 Nancy Rogan rated it really liked it
This is my first book by this author and I will try more of her work. I liked the characters and the mystery plot was good - figured it out pretty early, but that doesn't bother me. There is a lot of information on Denver and the Indians and their history. I thought there was a little too much on buildings and Denver itself, but if you are from that area you will probably love that part. I particularly liked the main character who was determined to solve the mystery herself yet didn't do stupid ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Anita rated it liked it
A tasty little bit of brain candy for the mystery-inclined. I found the Denver references interesting. I've seen the Sand Creek exhibit at the Colorado History Center and it's heartbreaking and shocking to say the least. I enjoyed how the author wove it into her story and teased the "white guilt" element of current society.

My only criticism is that the end of the book and the culprit behind it all was far too predictable. I think the hints could have been a little bit more subtle. Even so, when
Bruce Snell
Jul 23, 2011 Bruce Snell rated it really liked it
This is Margaret Coel's first novel without Father John or Vicky Holden, and that seems to work for her. The protagonist of the book is Catherine McLeod, an investigative reporter in Denver. She becomes enmeshed in a story about the Sand Creek massacre/genocide of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians by the US Cavalry, and how that incident is being used to coerce the State of Colorado into approving an Indian casino. A professional hit man attempts to murder Catherine, who then sets out to stop her mur ...more
Mary Havlovic
Aug 09, 2012 Mary Havlovic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
Blood Memory is a book that our Sisters-in-Crime Group chose as their book to read for the month of September. I picked up the book and just could not put it down. Had to keep reading until I finished it. I found the book to be well written and intriguing. I found myself looking over my shoulder every now and then and jumping when I heard a noise. Began to wonder if the assasin was in my house. The story centers around a Journalist who is writing about the Arapaho and Cheyenne massacres in Color ...more
Oct 19, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Wind River Reservation mystery fans
Shelves: mystery
3.5 rating. An investigative journalist finds herself being stalked by a killer while she is working on a story about a land claim by the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes. We learn a lot about the Sand Creek massacre and a lot of government betrayals all leading to a present day questionable land swap. I like my mystery reading to provide some educational value and this really does a good job. It would have been a stronger rating if I liked the heroine a bit more. She seemed so easily shaken by event ...more
Sep 17, 2013 JoAnne rated it really liked it
Another great story by Margaret Coel. Catherine McLeod is an investigative journalist. She was given a tip on a story by an Arapaho man. She learned and wrote about the Sand Creek massacre. One evening after work, she is out walking her dog and she realizes that someone is following her. She acts like nothing is going on and quietly slips into her house. She is freaked out and calls her friend/lawyer Maury and then the police. Maury arrives and she opens the door, he is shot by an intruder. He i ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Ed rated it liked it
Shelves: reporter, thriller
#1 in the Catherine McLeod series. After 13 entries, author Coel has taken a break from the Wind River series about an Arapahoe reservation featuring Catholic priest John O'Malley and lawyer Vicky Holden. Coel still brings her Indian expertise to bear in this new series.

Catherine McLeod, a Denver investigative reporter, is the target of a hired assassin. Arapahoe and Cheyenne history of the Sand Creek Massacre serving as basis of a modern lawsuit is interesting although serving as the motive for
Jan 21, 2015 Janet rated it liked it
When I choose this from the shelf I thought I was getting one of Coel's Windriver series, however, that was not the case. This was a thriller involving a woman reporter, named Catherine McLeod, who is an investigative reporter for a Denver newspaper. Catherine, who is part Arapaho Indian, is working on a story about a new Indian gambling casino coming to Denver. Is it really to benefit the tribe or will some unknown persons benefit? The writing style does make one keep reading to find out if the ...more
Kristine Beck
Mar 16, 2014 Kristine Beck rated it liked it
This book kept me involved from the start. I think the relationship she magically starts feeling with her Native American roots is a kind of cheap way to bring that cultural aspect into the novel and would have been just fine without it. She could have just been a really excited and driven journalist and that would have sufficed for bringing in that piece. I liked how everything wove together with her marriage history. I even liked that actions had consequences and not just happy endings. Good m ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
It was good to read a book from the author that was not from the same series even though Vickie makes a brief appearance in this one. I kind of felt that the killer was a little too unbelievable in some of the things he did. There were a few times when I felt if the main character would have called the police as soon as she spotted him, he would have been caught a lot quicker, and then she would be mad at the police for not catching him. Overall it was a good story and I look forward to the sequ ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was unsure if I would like this but couldn't put it down. A part-American Indian investigative reporter finds lies and subterfuge in Denver when writing a story about a new casino for the local Indian tribes. She is targeted by an assassin and he narrowly misses her on several occasions; she is very frightened but keeps digging into this business arrangement which involves her ex-husband. She finds her heritage by the end and perhaps a new relationship. History of Denver and Indian tribes of the ...more
May 02, 2015 Violet rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Had a tough time getting thru this one... I found myself skipping entire paragraphs of description, until about two-thirds of the way thru, when the chase really began. Held my attention from that point, except that by the last chapter when the "hirer" was revealed, I had already determined who it would be.
Having been a legal secretary for a number of years, I found an editing error on page 268; should be "quit claim" deed instead of "quick claim" deed. in two places. Sorry, I found this one lac
Sep 18, 2008 Gail rated it it was amazing
Looking for a good mystery, perhaps a new series? Blood Memory is a 'page-turner', taking place in today's Denver. The first chapter is a terrific episode of suspense, which continues for the whole book. Oft unfamiliar history of American Indians features in this book, as does the familiar theme of casino development, yet with a whole new take on these subjects. I am not giving anything away as to what transpires in the book. Hopefully we will see more of Investigative Reporter Catherine McLeod.
Feb 08, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, southwest
Someone is trying to kill investigative journalist, Catherine Mcleod, Arapaho tribe. Is it because of her coverage of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribal settlement and casino building proposals in Colorado? A lot of action and anxiety, especially relevant to those familiar with land settlement claims and tribal gaming act. Set mostly in the city of Denver pitting old Denver money against native interests. Though this is one of the Wind River Reservation series of mysteries, not much action takes pl ...more
Jun 08, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
An interesting suspense story about a Denver investigative reporter, Catherine McLeod, who is searching for answers and connections between the people behind a proposed casino, a land claim for 27 million acres, and the 1864 Indian massacre at Sand Creek. While trying to understand her present relationships and researching her past, McLeod learns valuable information about her family and the ancestral lands of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes. Modern day survival with reflections of the past.
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Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of the acclaimed novels featuring Father John O'Malley and Vicky Holden, as well as several works of nonfiction. Originally a historian by trade, she is considered an expert on the Arapaho Indians.
More about Margaret Coel...

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