Death on a Pale Horse iis the fourth novella of Carl Douglass'
McGee series. Painted Desert High school principal Bertha Yazzie is
murdered, and Lt. Naalnish Begay--head of the field office of the
NDCI for the Painted Desert District in Blue Mesa, Arizona suspects
her husband. It is soon evident that the case is not so simple. Her
computer yields angry interchanges with her husband and passionate
vitriol from angry parents, disgruntled employees of the school,
and especially from a group that opposes American civilization
education for the students. For them, the old Navajo ways are the
best waysÑthe only ways. The investigation is further
complicated when two more murders occur on the reservation, and
witnesses see a painted Indian rider on a light-gray horse around
the time of those murders. Both of the new victims are associated
with the reservation schools, and that introduces new suspects. The
situation is so politically charged that Lt. Begay seeks help from
his old friend from their early days as FBI agents, J.P.A.M.J.
McGee, who is now a famous New York private detective. McGee and
his partners arrive on the reservation, and shortly the case
becomes more complicated and more political. There are strong
forcesÑFBI agents, witch doctors, and tribal
authorities--acting to make the case go away. Neither Begay nor
McGee are prone to yield to pressure, and a tense and potentially
dangerous situation develops.