For tribes of the American Southwest, the annual Sun Dance is among the most solemn and sacred of rituals. But lately Death has been an uninvited guest at the hallowed rite.
Ute tribal policeman Charlie Moon is puzzled. The deceased Sun Dancers sustained no visible, life-ending injuries, so he is reluctant to call it murder — though there is surely nothing "natural" about the sudden, inexplicable deaths of two strong and healthy men. Unlike her skeptical nephew, however, Charlie's aunt, shaman Daisy Perika, trusts the signs the spirits have sent her of a great evil in their midst. And Moon's matukach friend, Police Chief Scott Parris, believes the stubborn, good-natured Ute lawman should look beyond the rational for answers. Yet Charlie Moon knows too well that hatred, bitterness, and delusion are often behind lethal acts — and he hopes these very human failings will reveal to him a killer. But now a beautiful childhood friend has stepped into harm's way and time is running out. For death is on the prowl once more — and it will surely darken the Sun Dance again.