Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lie – Michael McCoy

Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lie is the story of Clifford Gustafson, born Clifford Whitetail on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana. Orphaned as a young boy, Clifford is adopted and raised by a farm couple in Minnesota—which, he learns after beginning college classes at a university in Minneapolis, was part of the ancestral Cheyenne homeland prior to the 1700s.

Clifford believes that he was brought back to Minnesota through no choice of his own as providence, and as a sign. At first, he’s not sure exactly what it is a sign of, though. Nevertheless, the revelation kicks off a voyage of discovery for Clifford that leads to a degree in anthropology and a summer job at an important archaeological site on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming.

What begins as a carefree, educational summer for Clifford is ripped apart by the apparent murder of a beloved workmate, a young woman who had become more than a friend to him. Clifford immediately assumes the responsibility of solving the mystery.

Following the road to find the questions and the answers takes him on a roller-coaster ride through the high plains of Wyoming and Montana and the rolling prairies of the Heartland. Along the way, he experiences a dangerous falling in with a group of young Cheyennes calling themselves the DSR (Dog Soldiers Resurrected), and forges a friendship with Bill Parsons, an Iowa pig farmer by summer and highly skilled Yellowstone country tracker of poachers come fall.

Part crime novel, part coming-of-age story, and all adventure, Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lie is peppered with enough spirituality to make readers think and enough magic (in particular, the magic of a very special Appaloosa mare) to keep them guessing. Readers will be rewarded with a tale that is exciting, uplifting, and illuminating. By the end, they will be primed and anxious for installment number two of the Clifford Gustafson Trilogy, a tale that will involve an older Clifford and a shocking find high in western Wyoming’s Wind River Range.