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Picture of Lies
C.C. Harrison

Five Star
October 21, 2011 / ISBN 978-1432825065

Reviewed by Dennis Collins

Keegan Thomas is an award winning journalist who writes about abducted children whose cases remain open. She is driven by the panic and sense of despair that only the parent of an abducted child can feel. Her own daughter has been missing for some time and the police investigation has turned up nothing substantial. Helping others to cope is Keegan’s way of dealing with her own grief. But eventually the crusade leaves her exhausted and she’s forced to take a break.

She finds an old photograph of her grandfather Lincoln Cole, a well known doctor who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and sets off for the Monument Valley Navajo Reservation to see if she can find out more about the photograph and the people in it. The Navajos don’t like talking about their deceased ancestors and many of them stonewall Keegan when she begins to show the picture around. Others seem outright alarmed or enraged by the photo leading Keegan to think there might be some deep dark secret whose memory is rekindled by the photograph.

Along the way, Keegan encounters an archeologist named Dante, who seems to want to discourage her from investigating the old picture, but his motivation has nothing to do with sacred Navajo traditions.

Keegan presses ahead and uncovers uncomfortable information regarding her grandfather’s role on the reservation. The plot begins to unfold and expand into the inner workings of the government. Now she understands the resistance she has encountered runs much deeper than native tradition.

Author C.C. Harrison does an excellent job of presenting a brilliant picture of life on the reservation where ancient traditions blend with modern technology. It’s an area where dirt floored adobe houses meet the high speed internet. The contrast between the old and the new make this a believable tale. It moves along without any lags in the action and has just the right balance of adventure, mystery, and a little romance. I’ve read a few of C.C. Harrison’s books and, while they’ve all been quite good, this is the best one so far.

Reviewer & Columnist Dennis Collins is the author of Turn Left at September, The Unreal McCoy, and The First Domino
Reviewed 2011
© 2011