About this item


Jacob Neptune, a wise-cracking, two-fisted Penacook private investigator with a checkered past, lives in upstate New York - four hundred miles from his tribal community on Abenaki Island. Then one night the phone rings. "We . . . got . . . trouble," Neptune's cousin Dennis says from the other end. And trouble is where it all starts in this brilliant, often hilarious novel by acclaimed Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

Attacked by bikers before he can even board his plane, Neptune - "Podjo" to his friends - quickly begins to realize just how much trouble surrounds his people's ancestral home. Guided by his sense of duty to his homeland, he agrees to help protect Dennis and other Penacooks as they stage a takeover of a state campground on land that should have reverted to their tribe. But encroaching developers, government operators, and even fellow Penacooks eager to build a casino each pose a threat to the Abenaki lands - and all have reasons to want Neptune out of the picture.

Podjo greets each challenge with self-deprecating humor - but it's difficult to shake his increasingly disturbing dreams, and an unsettled feeling when his return leads to a reunion with a long-ago love interest. As he and Dennis contend with hired guns, police, and security, a far greater threat appears: someone, or something, is brutally killing people in the woods. It will take all of Neptune's skills as a martial artist and the wisdom gained from tribal elders to battle the forces that threaten the sacred land - and his and his people's lives.

Bruchac ratchets the tension from the first page to the last in this detective novel that pairs comedy and action with serious consideration of corporate greed, environmental destruction, cultural erosion, and other modern-day issues pressing Native peoples.



About the Author

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by which he has been most nourished. He, his younger sister Margaret, and his two grown sons, James and Jesse, continue to work extensively in projects involving the preservation of Abenaki culture, language and traditional Native skills, including performing traditional and contemporary Abenaki music with the Dawnland Singers. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Syracuse and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from the Union Institute of Ohio. His work as a educator includes eight years of directing a college program for Skidmore College inside a maximum security prison. With his wife, Carol, he is the founder and Co-Director of the Greenfield Review Literary Center and The Greenfield Review Press. He has edited a number of highly praised anthologies of contemporary poetry and fiction, including Songs from this Earth on Turtle's Back, Breaking Silence (winner of an American Book Award) and Returning the Gift. His poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from American Poetry Review, Cricket and Aboriginal Voices to National Geographic, Parabola and Smithsonian Magazine. He has authored more than 70 books for adults and children, including The First Strawberries, Keepers of the Earth (co-authored with Michael Caduto) , Tell Me a Tale, When the Chenoo Howls (co-authored with his son, James) , his autobiography Bowman's Store and such novels as Dawn Land, The Waters Between, Arrow Over the Door and The Heart of a Chief. Forthcoming titles include Squanto's Journey (Harcourt) , a picture book, Sacajawea (Harcourt) , an historical novel, Crazy Horse's Vision (Lee & Low) , a picture book, and Pushing Up The Sky (Dial) , a collection of plays for children. His honors include a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship for Poetry, the Cherokee Nation Prose Award, the Knickerbocker Award, the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children's Literature and both the 1998 Writer of the Year Award and the 1998 Storyteller of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. In 1999, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. As a professional teller of the traditional tales of the Adirondacks and the Native peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, Joe Bruchac has performed widely in Europe and throughout the United States from Florida to Hawaii and has been featured at such events as the British Storytelling Festival and the National St



Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends


Report incorrect product information.