The basic storyline is that our protagonist is part Cherokee, and has some abilities to get into other people’s heads in his dreams. He must previously create a connection by touching the person’s belongings and absorbing the atmosphere in which they lived.
He has put this ability to good use working as a kind of consultant with a special FBI team which goes after serial killers. Kind of Criminal Minds with a paranormal twist.
The team is called out to New Mexico to investigate the disappearances of young women in the Albuquerque area.
The book becomes a description of the increasing Shamanic powers of our protagonist as he goes about trying to find the latest abductee. I found the story marred by the necessity of the protagonist to pull another beautiful (they are always beautiful, there are no ugly women in law enforcement I have discovered) female fellow team member into his dream and have sex with her. She, wonder of wonders, experiences the same dream, and in the morning, they acknowledge their attraction to each other. Then in another episode, he pulls in yet a third attractive officer, this one from the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs), and they have a dreamscape threesome. It would seem that the way for us readers to understand his growing powers is by learning of the Power of the Dick.
Anyway, his new squeeze from the BIA takes him to her home in Tennessee where he meets her grandfather, I think, maybe uncle, who is also a Shaman, and who gives our boy some advanced lessons in shamanstry, (I made that word up), and who now can see and feel his spirit animal, a Black Panther. The smoochie has an Eagle for a spirit animal, so they are opposite but compatible.
They return to New Mexico, as the hunt for the killer continues as all the law enforcement types, including the Reservation police, the city police and the FBI folks are frantic to find the killer, since he has now taken one of their own people.
So now we have this guy with increasing night vision, and in a dreamscape with an elderly woman shaman, improbably learns to speak Aztec! Why didn’t he learn to speak Navajo? He could have really used that skill a little later on.
And you know what? I was on board with all of this paranormal Shamanic hoohah, right up until the shape shifter.
Lost me at the shape shifter. I can only suspend disbelief for just so long. Then my Inner Crabby Skeptic bursts through screaming, “Get a freaking GRIP! In spite of whatever woo woo stuff you might talk yourself into believing, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A REAL SHAPE SHIFTER!”
Ok, so other than the shape shifter, and the somewhat choppy and self-referencial first person writing style, it was a good mystery, and actually a lot of fun to read about the shaman stuff, PLUS it contained a lot of info on Native American customs and culture.
Some interesting info from the book:
The Chacoans are the original Ancient Pueblos (Anasazi). They are the great architects and master designers. They gave birth, and passed on wisdom and knowledge, to their pueblo descendants; the Aztecs, Acoma, Hopituh (Hopi), Jemez, Keres, Taos, Tewa, Tiwa and Zuni. They were archaestronomers [sic]* who built ancient observatories like Fajada Butte and Hovenweep Castle near the Four Corners.
They were also believed to be the descendants of the Pleiadians (People of the stars, extraterrestrial being or Aliens.) The Hopituh called them Chuhukon (Chacoan) which means Pleiadian – Those who cling together.
The Anasazi built elaborate roads and highways with astronomical symbols and solstice markings. Some believed them to be landing strips for the Pleiadian relatives. Others believe them to be roads leading back to ‘Shipapu’ – the dimensional doorway of their place of origin.
* Archaeoastronomy is the study of how people in the past “have understood the phenomena in the sky, how they used these phenomena and what role the sky played in their cultures.”
Isn’t it wonderful what you can learn just by reading fiction? And would I read more by this author? Sure.