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Dakota (Lola Wicks, #2)
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(Lola Wicks #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Former foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is getting a little bored in Magpie, Montana, where she landed at a small local newspaper after being downsized from her job in Kabul. Then Judith Calf Looking, a local Blackfeet girl missing for several months, turns up dead in a snowbank with a mysterious brand on her forearm. The sheriff - whose romantic relationship with Lola pro ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 2014 by The Permanent Press
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Lola Wicks now works for a small Montana newspaper, and is living with the local sheriff, making it impossible for her to have the crime beat; however, when a local girl "from the rez" freezes to death to escape a menace, Lola decides she needs to investigate. Then she finds out there have been other local girls who mysteriously disappeared as well. Off she goes to see about oil mining in Dakota, with her faithful dog as companion. As Lola starts to poke around, her contacts start dying and as h ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did a Feature Blog review of Books #1 - #3 on my website
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a Preview Edition copy of this book, Dakota, by Gwen Florio, from another site in exchange for an honest review.

On the back cover of this novel, it says "...Lola's story continues with Dakota." Since I had not read the author's first novel, Montana, I didn't know what to expect. Believe me when I say that Dakota stands alone. No need to read Montana first, but once you've read Dakota, you'll want to read Montana. It's that good!!

This novel centers around the North Dakota oil fields, t
Reporter Lola Wicks has moved from big-city news and far-flung scenes of war to small-town America. Now she’s not even allowed to follow the crime beat since she’s sleeping with the sheriff, but she can’t switch off her concerns or her suspicions. Missing girls, explained away as runaways or accidental death, demand Lola’s attention, whatever her bosses say. And so she heads from Montana’s mountain to Dakota’s bleak dark plains.

Author Gwen Florio might be described as a thinking woman’s Tony Hil
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this contemporary mystery. This is Gwen Florio's second book, however the first I have read. I gave the book a four because it was predictable. The most important thing is, the descriptions are so wonderful. She put me in the scene no matter if it was gritty or beautiful, and everything in between, and I loved that about the book. The events she depicted sometimes happen in any place where there is a strong "haves" base compared to the "Have Nots". I think Gwen not only ...more
Erika Edwards
Being a native North Dakotan I was interested to read a story actually set in my often overlooked state. And like I often am with the few stories about North Dakota I come across, I was disappointed. If I hadn't been from here, I would probably rate this book a 3. It was obvious, though, that the author (and the narrator of the audiobook version) did not grow up in ND, have probably never even been to ND, and did not bother to do enough research to make the setting believable. Thor and Charlotte ...more
Jim Crocker
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Here we go with Lola and Bud on the road again. This is another informative mystery with some great and nasty characters. One thing is for sure: fried chicken will never quite look the same to you after reading this one.

Gwen Florio is on a roll now. The next one is called Wyoming, of all places.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
A number of Blackfeet girls have gone missing from Magpie, Montanna, and then one turns up dead. There are rumors of drugs and a connection to the Bakken Oil Field. Lola Wicks, a former foreign correspondent, sets off to investigate, notwithstanding her pledge to her paper and her boyfriend (Sherriff Charlie Larndeau) that she'll stay away from the crime beat. This book has potential, Lola's a fine character, Florio captures the sparse beauty of North Dakota and the craziness of the oil boom wel ...more
Greg Klinkel
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a cross between a suspense story (not quite) and a romance novel (again, not quite). Rather light reading.

The good things: the author writes well with an easy voice.

The things that could have been better: the story line is thin, suspense never reaches a compelling level, the characters are mostly superficial, and it never really takes off.

Seems to be written for a female audience, which is fine.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my third book by the author and I love her writing style. To be honest, I haven’t been to Utah, Montana or The Dakotas but when I read her books, I get transported to these places. I love how she paints the pictures with her words. That being said, this book was a bit hard for me - young girls going missing, and even though the mystery ( whodunnit) was better than her other two books, I was sadder in the end as compared to the other books.
I listened to the audio. I realize this book is titled "Dakota" and it takes place there, but listening to the narrator do the voices of the locals was like fingernails on chalk for me. Done superbly in the movie "Fargo" - but seemed way overdone here . Now, the story was good. HOWEVER I hated the ending. What a disappointment. I won't read #3.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Another adventure with Lola

Lola Wicks is a tough journalist who cares about people more than the story. However her desire to find a solution to a mystery takes her into to danger. Enjoy a story that is fast moving with endearing characters.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I just was bored and it took forever to finish.
Gretchen Stein
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this 2nd book in the series
Mary Drummond
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mystery to the end, could not put it down. Excited to read the next Lola Wicks mystery.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
There are some things I really like about these books, but overall, I think they're a little too dark and dour for me. I won't be reading anymore of them.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: female-lead, series, 2018
Compelling but uneven lead character, grim storyline, abrupt end. Not as strong as the first book in the series.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a novel but it does it in some of the intricacies of life in Native communities intersecting with the White world. Also the rampant rape and abuse present in the Bakken.
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, audio, reviewed
I should start off by saying that I am a North Dakotan, I live here, my family lives here, my parents were raised here, so my perspective on this may be different than others.

This was a good mystery and it kept me guessing right up to the reveal. Lola is a reporter who decided to go after a story even though her Montana newspaper and Sheriff boyfriend Charlie tell her not to. She finds herself in the North Dakota Oil patch where the men outnumber the women by a huge percentage and finds herself
Gloria Feit
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lola Wicks, introduced to readers in “Montana,” returns in the second entry in the series. In her mid-30’s, she is now working \at a small daily newspaper in Magpie, Montana, a far cry from the years she spent as a foreign correspondent in Kabul and other war zones before being downsized from her job at a newspaper in Baltimore.

After three months, Lola is still dealing with the aftermath of the death of Mary Alice, her best friend, when first arriving in Magpie, “trying to figure out what to do
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free, 5-stars
A most excellent 5 star read, review to come...:)

Well Gwen, you did it again!
This is the second Lola Wicks book, Montana being the first in this new and exciting series where we were first introduced to tough on the outside yet, tender on the inside, once worldly journalist Lola Wicks who was downsized from her job as a foreign correspondent to reporting for the small town newspaper The Daily Express in Magpie Montana.
Lola is still in the small town of Magpie where she came after the murder of
Mark Stevens
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Dakota" finds former foreign correspondent Lola Wicks up to her eyeballs in the oil patch. She's a small-town reporter now, but her instincts still work. She wants to follow her gut and the trail that leads from the body of a dead girl found frozen in a snowbank.

The dead girl is from the local Blackfeet tribe. Having been to Afghanistan, Wicks is not unfamiliar with the treatment of the powerless and of the “fecklessness of men.” She knows oppression when she sees it. “Obituaries from the rese
I have added Lola Wicks to the list of characters whose adventures I hope to follow for a long time.

Lola, a former foreign correspondent, relocates to Magpie, Montana, and starts a relationship with the local sheriff. That relationship, however keeps her from being able to report on police matters for the local newspaper. But when a girl missing from the Indian reservation Magpie is built in is found dead not far from home, Lola doesn't let the technicality of not being on the police beat stop h
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm honestly giving this three stars instead of two because the subject matter was interesting, even if the story was predictable.

Lola Wicks is a big city reporter now living in rural Montana, covering the local Indian Reservation for the town's newspaper. After a missing girl is found dead outside of town, Lola discovers that the dead girl, along with other young girls missing from the Reservation, may have been working as prostitutes in the Dakota oil fields.

The oil book towns of the Dakotas h
Bill Albert
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Most sequels are disappointing, pale imitations. Not so with Gwen Florio’s follow-up to her awarding-winning novel Montana. Dakota is a smashingly drawn, dark, icy cold and fast-paced tour de force set in the oil fields of western North Dakota, surprisingly for this reader, the second largest oil producing state in the US. Once again, her main character is the tough-as-nails journalist Lola Wicks, whose years reporting from Afghanistan, where Florio herself worked as a journalist, provides her w ...more
Jim Liston
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Death on the reservation was a constant companion, but when a young Native American girl dies in the snow trying to go home, Lola starts to find out about all the other missing girls. Lola goes to the patch, a shantytown near the oilrigs. The men go there to make money off the rigs and the women go to make money off the men. Her instincts as a reporter tell her there’s something going on and she’s determined to uncover the secret. She finds the town of Burnt Creek infected with prostitution, ram ...more
Neva Williams
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this book - like the series. Looking forward to more from this author.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I am new to Goodreads and went a little crazy signing up for free books. When I won this one, I was a little disappointed because it would have been my last pick. I was so pleaantly surprised! The book deals with subject matter I have very little interest in, trucking, oil fields, prostitution, and Native American culture. Despite that, I really enjoyed reading it.
The author has a lovely writing style, very descriptive. You can feel those prairie w
Kate Moretti
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another page-turning adventure of Lola Wicks! This time, Florio takes us to the seedy underbelly of the Bakken boom. Lola is a determined, if not flawed, investigator and her latest cause is uncovering the truth about the murder of a local Blackfeet teenager found dead in the snow. Florio takes on sex-trafficking and corruption in intricate detail, but it was her poetic, graceful prose that stole the show for me. Her descriptions were beautifully done, which made the subject that much more abhor ...more
Rachel Lindvall
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This was another book that I listened to via the audiobook version. It was well suited to that for me. I like an audiobook that is compelling enough that you care what happens next but that does not have too many twists and turns; this last being important just in case you have to pay an enhanced level of attention to the road or your journey.
Dakota is a timely story that met the above criteria. Our protagonist is a reporter living in Indian Country in Montana among the Blackfeet people. She ha
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Veteran journalist Gwen Florio has covered stories ranging from the mass shooting at Columbine High School and the trials of Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, to the glitz of the Miss America pageant and the more practical Miss Navajo contest, whose participants slaughter a sheep. She's reported from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, among other countries, as well as Lost Sprin ...more

Other books in the series

Lola Wicks (4 books)
  • Montana (Lola Wicks, #1)
  • Disgraced (Lola Wicks, #3)
  • Reservations (A Lola Wicks Mystery)
“She reached below the seat, where she’d stashed the little revolver. “You’ll feel better having it,” Charlie had said. Suddenly she did.” 2 likes
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