Forge, Sept 2002, 24.95, 304 pp.
In 1879, Brad Randall, the Commissioner for Indian Affairs feels ineffectual in his post because he knows how the Indians are being treated and is in no position to help them. When he finds out his wife is cheating on him with his assistant, he leaves her and journeys out west, hoping to help the Native-Americans. He also wants to find Eden Murdoch who he has not seen or heard from in ten years to tell her the son she thought died is very much alive.
When the two ex-lovers meet, Eden is in jail protecting the fact that the Indians are no longer allowed near Solomon Spring, a sacred site to many tribes. He gets her out of jail and takes her to see her son who is not pleased to see her because her husband, Lawrence Murdoch has found him first and fed him lies about her. When Lawrence is found dead, Brad confesses to his murder but the only one who doesn't believe him is Eden who intends to find the real killer before her lover hangs.
SOLOMON SPRING is a great work of historical fiction and an equally good historical mystery. Through the characters eyes we are able to see the plight of the Indians and their courage in the face of adversity. The romance between the two protagonists is quite good but takes a back seat to the who-done it. Michelle Black is a talented writer who will appeal to readers of mystery, romance and history.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner