A gripping action story with a vein of star-crossed romanceIn this prequel to 2022's THE RED CANOE, Buck, aka Michael Fineday, aka Red Deer is on his way to track down his wayward brother in the Twin Cities, when he's trapped in a snowstorm and rescued by Sally, a girl who is fighting her own demons. Though intrigued by Sally, most of Buck's time is spent trying to unravel his family's involvement with an elaborate racket which has recently gotten his cousin Ruben and his half-brother Bear killed.Eli, Buck's surviving brother, is up to his neck in the racket that involves insurance fraud and stolen vehicles, and unwilling to tell Buck the truth. The racketeer's kingpin thinks Eli has something they want-which is both his death warrant and his salvation. The problem is, Eli doesn't know exactly what the something is or how to find it; his only clue is a phrase in Anishinaabe language Ruben scrawled on the wall of his room before he was killed, and it's up to Buck to track it down.Meanwhile, Sally and Buck grow closer through the shared wounds of their difficult pasts; and Buck teaches her some Ashinaabe language and cultural practices. Strangely, all roads--both Sally's and Buck's--lead to the Witch Tree, an important spiritual reservoir in Native American religion, and where he is forced to face the many facets of his own identity and find a way for them both to heal.
Wayne Johnson is the multiple Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of THE RED CANOE, the acclaimed Paul Two Persons Mysteries DON'T THINK TWICE and SIX CROOKED HIGHWAYS, a thriller, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, and many other works of fiction and nonfiction. Of mixed Native and European descent, he grew up in southern Minneapolis, and in the north lakes region of Minnesota on the White Earth and Red Lake Reservations. He currently resides in Salt Lake City. Find him online at waynejohnsonauthor.com