The Stick Game

The Stick Game

by Peter Bowen
A Montana deputy takes on a mining company that’s poisoning reservation children in a novel the Washington Post calls “wonderful [and] wise.”

Something is rotten in the Fort Belknap Reservation. Life has always been tough on this barren stretch just south of the Canadian border, but now the children are getting sick. While playing his fiddle in a reservation bar, part-time deputy Gabriel Du Pré meets an accordionist who suspects the children’s health defects and low test scores are connected to pollution from the nearby Persephone gold mine.

Meanwhile, Du Pré investigates the disappearance of one of the afflicted children. When the boy turns up dead, the accordionist’s theory gains credence. It wouldn’t be the first time the rich men of Montana found wealth at the expense of the reservation’s kids. But is there something more than greed and indifference at work? Something even more sinister? Du Pré will make it his business to find out.

“In other hands, melodrama could easily rear its head and trample the scenery, but Bowen has a firm grip on his large cast of interesting players . . . [in this] tale of grace vs. greed” (Publishers Weekly).

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