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Shadow Dancer (Wind River Reservation #8)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  686 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews

With the disappearance of a young man and his old friend Vicky Holden accused of murder, Father John O'Malley must prove his hunch that both events are connected to a dangerous sect leader known as Orlando-who has resurrected the old Shadow Dance religion.

ebook, 304 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 2002)
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Feb 29, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I do enjoy the characters, this format is getting to be to routine: Father John stumbles into a problem. Separately, so does Vicky. They eventually combine forces to fight the bad but not before being almost killed. SIGH.
A decent plot, but Vicky seemed to spend this book being inexplicably stupid and naive.

Or maybe its just because I've read three books in this series back to back, so I should rest it for a while.
Vicky Holden, an Arapaho who grew up on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, recently returned to the region and set up her new law office. After a huge public fight with her abusive ex-husband, Ben Holden, he is shot dead - and Vicky is a suspect. Other troubles are also brewing in the area. A self-proclaimed prophet named Orlando has revived the Shadow Dance religion, meant to rid the region of white people and restore the land to the Indians. Moreover, a young computer expert named Dean Lit ...more
Sep 03, 2013 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really disappointed. For a New York Times Best Selling Author, I was not impressed. I found several typos throughout the book, and I found that the language was over-simplified for many of the characters (are villains usually this inarticulate?)

I was also disappointed in the attitude towards spousal abuse. How is it that Vicky's ex-husband put her through hell, but because other people respected him, he was still a good man? And how could she just forgive him, and still LOVE him despite hi
Jul 15, 2012 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another well crafted story. Interesting plot, but the issues in all of the book series are the same.
The FBI & the serriff can't solve the crime and don't want Father John or Vicky to get in the way. Of course they do get involved and solve the crime in the last chapter.
The Church is always broke and continues to be a problem between the two loves.
So after reading 8 books in the series, I am not to sure that I am up to reading the next 8.
Mary Ellen
Jan 14, 2010 Mary Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is the first book of Margaret Coel's I have ever read. A fair-to-middling quality mystery with a by-the-numbers "thriller"-type ending. It earned its third star for me because of the interesting portrayal of life on the Wind River Arapaho Reservation. Although it does not rise to the level of Hillerman's Leaphorn/Chee mysteries, IMO, it was a fun read.
Aug 15, 2015 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is the third book that I've read by this author. She seems to be a solid 3 stars for me, which seemed to be exactly what I needed today. Her stories usually have one line to follow. They aren't complicated, but easy reads. I liked the ending of this one. I thought it was all over, but then there was an extra twist at the end that was nice surprise.
David Bareiss
Protagonist's family relationships not believable.
Jan 04, 2017 Wanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Father John is asked to look for the grandson of a couple if his parishioners. Vicky is shocked by the shooting death of her ex husband and is considered a suspect. She starts investigating and it leads her to the Shadow Ranch and a supposed prophet. Father John's search also leads him to the ranch.
Eventually the young man is found murdered and the two cases are connected. They are trying to link it to the goings on at the ranch. Vicky is also dealing with strong feelings about her exhusband an
Jeff Dickison
This is a fairly good book with a major problem: FBI Agent Gianelli's almost automatic assumption that Vicky Holden was guilty of murder. This is a person she has assisted in the past and to who she has proven her mettle many times. It simply doesn't ring true. Otherwise a good story, but that point is a real plot killer.
Nov 09, 2016 Doris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to reading this series but am so disappointed that I likely won't continue. I expected a much better crafted story from this best-selling author. The plot intrigued but the writing was stilted and bland and the characters rather shallow. I know Vicky left an abusive relationship but that was 15 years ago and she's since become a successful lawyer, however her character here was completely passive and weak. I would have much preferred gumption that we could root for a ...more
Nov 09, 2013 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm nearly caught up in this series, yahoo!

So, Vicki's back on the reservation, Father John is once again fighting to save the mission from the Church's businessmen. But the crux of the case revolves around the presence of a cult-like reorganization of the Shadow Dancers, founded after the Plains Indians were nearly completely exterminated at the end of the 19th century. The reorg was begun by a local rancher and is fueled by apocalyptic vision and Valium, but it has begun to attract people who
May 12, 2008 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I recently realized that I was several books behind in keeping up with this series set on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. THE SHADOW DANCER had been languishing on my TBR shelf since about 2003! I don't know why I put it off so long since it was certainly a good book. Vicky Holden, Arapaho attorney, has returned to Lander after deciding that the big city law firm life wasn't for her. Her abusive ex-husband Ben is still unwilling to realize that their family life together is over. Meanwhil ...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Father O'Malley has his problems and his doubts. He worries constanly about his being a recovering alcoholic (after all, you never really get cured) and agonises about the future of the Mission... and he's always thinking about Vicky. Vicky Holden has her issues as well. Her marriage is broken but her husband will not accept the fact, and professionally she is constantly fighting to help her people against big business or individuals chasing their own agenda. Margaret Coel is good at creating th ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing to know is that this book is one in a long series focusing on Father John O'Malley and Vicky Holden. I did not know this and picked this one up at random. As such, I probably couldn't appreciate all the past character build-up, though the book did a good job of filling me in on the important stuff (the pair's relationship, Vicky's relationship with her ex-husband, Vicky having to shoot a gun).

One complaint is that I figured out the end goal of the antagonist before the protagonis
Feb 20, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Vicki Holden's exhusband is shot, who should the best suspect be? Why Vicki, of course. Her ex was only alcoholic, abusive, and a womanizer, and yet she is blamed by everyone (including her children) for "breaking up the family." Book was written in 2002, so I hope by now society could look at the end of relationships as being the woman's fault because she left the relationship.
The governing body of the Jesusit priests meeting to decide the fate of the chronically money poor Arapaho Miss
Jul 16, 2011 Arlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arlene by: Lola
The blurb on the front says "She's a master." Tony Hillerman. I definitely agree. The difference between their stories is that Margaret Coel's characters are an Arapahoe lawyer and a Jesuit priest and Tony Hillerman's are Navaho cops. The location of this mystery is the Wind River Reservation and Lander, Wyoming. I lived in Wyoming for 6 years and I love having it as a setting for a mystery.
Vicky is asked to have dinner with her ex but they end up having an argument in the restaurant, then the
Mar 16, 2010 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young man disappears and Fr. John is asked to find him. Then, Vicky Holden's ex-husband is murdered. Vicky becomes the prime suspect in his death. The rez is beset by a young man seeking to revive the Ghost Dance and claiming he is the heir to Ghost Dance prophet Wovoka. It falls to Fr. John and Vicky Holden to find the link between Ben Holden's death and Dean Little Horse's disappearance. Missing dynamite, and the hope for a new world washing away the troubles of this one, are part of this en ...more
Aug 07, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always love Margaret Coels mysteries and this one is one of the best. It is well written, full of suspense and interesting and fun to the end. This book is key to understanding some of her later books as you learn what happened to Ben and introduces Adam Lone Eagle to the stories. You don't need to read the book series in order but this particular story ads more background to her subsequent stories. If you love her mysteries be sure to read this one.
May 12, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 in the Wind River series. Fr John O'Malley is pastor of St Francis mission on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation, and Vicky Holden is an Indian lawyer.

Wind River series - Fr John O'Malley once again has to save the mission from being closed. Vicky Holden's ex-husband is murdered and she is suspected. A self-proclaimed prophet has revived the old Shadow Dance religion, an anti-white cult that has O'Malley's latest assistant and the board of the mission upset.
Gilbert Baron
Apr 03, 2015 Gilbert Baron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best so far

A lot of history of the mission and the relationships of the characters. It is also a crackling good mystery.
I wish all the books were available in ebook format. I will read those that are. My eyes have difficulty with small print and lie contrast of today's publishing.
Jan 15, 2010 Betty410 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wild chase to save the res against a cult with no true appreciation of life. Vicki and John both escape by seconds. Vicki's family situation is on the mend. It is surprising that Coel can keep dreaming up more situations involving this pair. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Kathleen O'Nan
Book #8 in the Father O'Malley/Vicki Holden series finds Vicki in renewed conflict with her abusive ex-husband who is shot dead shortly after a public argument with Vicki. She is an automatic suspect and Father O'Malley comes to her aid. The two have been avoiding each other because of their ever-increasing romantic feelings for each other but are now thrown into each other's arms.
Jun 19, 2012 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mom and I listened to the book as we drove to Wyoming and all around Pinedale and Kemmerer. It is always great to have a mystery for a road trip and especially one that takes place where you are traveling.

Father O'Malley and Vicky Holden Wind River Mystery series are a fun read and the narrator was quite good.

Cults, murder, issues with the mission....
Jan 11, 2009 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 in the Wyoming Arapaho Wind River Indian Reservation mystery series featuring Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley. This one has the usual murder mixed in with a revival of the Indian Ghost Dance, missing person, and the possible closing of O'Malley's mission. As usual, Vicky and John are in the middle of things and solve the mystery before the local Indian police and FBI.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 29, 2013 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Father John O'Malley has to deal with the possibility of the mission on the reservation closing with and with an assistant priest who is a spy for the bishop. Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden returns to the reservation and her ex-husband is murdered after a public argument. The ghost dnce is revised and Dean Little Horse comes up missing. Vicky is accused of the murder of her ex by the family clan.
Feb 12, 2013 JanieB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very fast-paced, and so well-written. As someone who previously had no idea of what life an be like on Aboriginal reservations, this was an insight for me!
This would make a tremendous movie, with a very unexpected closure.
Kelly Stubbart
Jan 29, 2014 Kelly Stubbart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like how the author portrays the possible alliances between people with different belief systems. I would have liked to read more factual info about the ghost dance, but that's a whole book in itself!
Stephanie Tanton
Dec 30, 2014 Stephanie Tanton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great mystery set in The west. The Arapahos reenact the Shadow Dance from ancient times hoping to reach an Indian paradise. Father John struggling to keep his mission open mounts a search to find the killers of two friends. A quick read that holds your interest.
Steven Howes
Jun 07, 2010 Steven Howes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book of the Wind River Mystery series. Readers will learn facts about the Indian "messiah" Wovoka and the Ghost Dance religion which was one of the underlying causes of the Wounded Knee massacre in December of 1890.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Wind River Reservation (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Eagle Catcher (Wind River Reservation, #1)
  • The Ghost Walker (Wind River Reservation, #2)
  • The Dream Stalker (Wind River Reservation, #3)
  • The Story Teller (Wind River Reservation, #4)
  • The Lost Bird (Wind River Reservation, #5)
  • The Spirit Woman (Wind River Reservation, #6)
  • The Thunder Keeper (Wind River Reservation, #7)
  • Killing Raven (Wind River Reservation, #9)
  • Wife of Moon (Wind River Reservation, #10)
  • Eye of the Wolf (Wind River Reservation, #11)

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“We live far away from our families and everything else that other people hold dear, and we follow a charismatic leader.” “So now you’re comparing Orlando to Jesus Christ?” 1 likes
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