The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon by Marcha Fox is an entertaining, suspenseful and compelling novel by the accomplished Texas indie lit author. The author extends her horizons beyond the sci-fi genre upon which she established her reputation. Canyon is a thriller that focuses on corporate crime and ecological issues while enlightening us on the state of the Indian community in Colorado and its relevance in the modern world.
The story takes place in Belton, a small town amidst the ski resort area of Colorado where Sara and Bryan Reynolds are enjoying a drive along the countryside. Their sojourn ends in tragedy as a car accident costs Bryan his life. Will and Connie Montgomery, Sara’s parents, are there in her time of need as is Charlie Whitehorse, an Indian of Cheyenne heritage who is part of the Native American community. Charlie is suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the accident. He runs afoul of Bernard Gunderson, the CEO of BG Security Services, and his top gun Eddie Johannsen. Both Charlie and Sara are targeted, and she soon realizes that the problem lies in the photos she and Bryan took during their trip. Related events unfold the mystery as an illegal excavating operation is uncovered. Corporate interests place Sara and Charlie’s lives at stake. Can the Great Spirit protect Charlie Whitehorse, a Cheyenne warrior steeped in tradition? Fox’s novel is a page-turner that will keep you up all night to find out.
The author’s signature style is evident as she combines expert storytelling with carefully-researched subplots that weave character-driven pacing alongside a fact-filled backdrop. Fox, a NASA veteran and science scholar, gives us an informative overview of the mining industry and fracking issues that have compromised the environment in Colorado. We see how urban residents, rural landowners and Indian tribes are endangered by pollution that poisons water supplies and threatens lives. There is also the element of conspiracy theory as the lengths to which corporations might protect their interests are measured. Last but not least, Fox provides us with poignant vignettes in which Charlie’s relationship with his grandfather, Grey Hawk, is depicted. It gives us a look at the Indian subculture and a spiritual vision of what makes it so unique. It is also where the legend of Dead Horse Canyon is revealed. Fasten your seat belts, brethren.
For suspense/thriller readers, conspiracy buffs and Indian history fans, as well as her legion of sci-fi lovers, Marcha Fox’s novel is one you don’t want to miss.