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Wind River Books In Order

Publication Order of Wind River Books

Wind River (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thunder Wagon (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wolf Shadow (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Medicine Creek (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dark Trail (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Judgment Day (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ransom Valley (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Margaret Coel received her Bachelors degree from Marquette University. She later attended Oxford University. Initially she was a reporter after which Margaret published 4 history books. Soon after, she started writing her novels. She wrote 12 of them in the Father O’Malley/Vikky Holden series. The writer has also wrote some popular short stories. She is now married with three children. The writer mentions that her husband is very supportive of her.

Margaret Coel has earned her fame as a New York times best seller for her acclaimed Wind River mystery series. The books are set In the Wyoming’ Wind River Reservation. Margaret Coel use to be a historian. She researched the Arapaho Indians very well and became an Expert on them though she says that she learns new things about her Arapaho friends all the time. The books are very popular and have gained recognition for being quality work. Many papers have honored her books by placing them on their best sellers list. Some of the newspapers that recognize Margaret as one of the best include the Los Angeles Times, Rocky Mountain news and the Denver post apart from the New York times. Five of Margaret’s books received Colorado book awards. The writer received the Willa Cather Award for best Novel of the west. She was also a finalist in the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for Best Novel. The highly accomplished writer has wrote 100 history books about Colorado.

Wind River series

The Famous Wind River Reservation is where it all happened in Margaret’s Best selling book series. It starts from the foothills of the Wind River Mountains and spans across the Plains of West Central Wyoming. This Reservation covers 3 million acres. The Arapahos were allocated in this reservation in 1875. this was done 7 years after the Shoshones were placed there. The Arapahos settled into the valley while the Shoshones settled in the foothills. The 2 tribes have a history of animosity but managed to reside side by side for more than a century. The reservation is managed by both tribes in the form of a council. The history of Wind River Reservation has deeply touched the writer and has made her dedicate a great deal of time and effort into the Publication of compelling content that will give rise to dialogue regarding historical accounts.

The characters in the novels are based on the writers imagination. Some key characters include Father John O’Malley and Vicky Holden. Though the characters are made up, the content of the books deal with real stories. The details about Wind River Reservation are also quite accurate. The stories are based on real terrible crimes and injustices that have occurred in the past. Books such as The Story Teller or the Shadow Dancer exemplify the atrocities of the past. The Books are a form of redemption. Some of the history still haunts the present, yearning to be avenged.

The Character of Father John Aloysius O’Malley

A key character in the Wind River series is Father John Aloysius O’Malley. He made a great connection with the Arapahos people and plays a very important role in plot development. The author was a little troubled by the character that she had created as she thought that John Aloysius O’malley would seem to be too perfect in the eyes of the readers. As a result of this feeling, Margaret made the man into a revolting alcoholic. This honestly does not lower the image of the character in any way and rather adds to the complexity of his dimensions. Father John Aloysius O’Malley is a six feet four inch tall red head Irishman who comes from Boston. O’Malley got to study at Boston College as a result of his talent in Baseball. After graduation he went into the Jesuit seminary. Priesthood was a passion of O’Malley that can be traced back to the days when he served as an alter boy. He truly felt the presence of God. Sadly his dream of marriage and having children never happened. He left the girl of his dreams and went off to seminary after which the girl had run off with her brother to get married. O’Malley had been a history teacher for 6 years at Jesuit prep school. Jesuit had exiled him after word had spread out about the ten year long alcohol abuse that O’Malley was part of. Wyoming was where he had now moved to after rehab as he had got a position in Jesuit University. The Arapahos made him feel right at home. He did not look like the type of person who would be able to endure life in the Great Plains but the growing bond with the Arapahos made him feel right at home. Appreciating local landscape and long drives were among his delights, something that he has in common with his author. Father O’Mally would usually dress him self in the fashion of the Arapahos. He wore cowboy boots and hats along with blue jeans and a plaid shirt. The Wind River Reservation had become a great source of faith for him and would change his life in the years to come.

Two Classics from the Wind River Series

The Wind River Series has led to many best sellers and has captured the hearts of countless fans. The books provide us with a scope to see into the history of Arapaho people and some of the awful things that they have to faced in a less tolerant time. The new books are selling faster then ice cream on a hot day but we must also look back at the classics that got us hooked on to Margaret Coels Wind River series. Two of the oldest books from the Wind River series are discussed below. They are “The Eagle Catcher” from 1995 and “The Ghost Walker” from 1996. These books have proven to be great reads and are highly recommended to those who are unfamiliar with the early work of Margaret Coel.

The Eagle Catcher (1995)

The content of the book came to the writers mind when she was researching for a historical book that is called Chief Left Hand. The setting is in Wind River Reservation. The Arapahos have come together for the Ehete Powwow. This is a spiritual time for the Arapahos. It is when they reaffirm the harmony and balance of life. All of a sudden the tribal chairman is found knifed to death. His name is Harvey Castle. The FBI representative who came to the seen pointed out that the knife belonged to the Chairman’s nephew based on the initials found on the primary piece of evidence. The head pastor at the St Francis Mission that is nearby hears about the incident. His name is Father John O,Malley. The father is not convinced by the accusation and uses his known links among the Arapaho to get answers. One man he contacts is Vicky Holden. Vicky is a Arapaho who has become a Lawyer. Her Arapaho name is Singing Dear. She did not use it as it would have given her a hard time at school.Vicky has come to Wind River after many years as she was busy completing her education. She plays a key role in the story.

There is a lot of information about the Arapahos history in this book. The Chairman had been writing about the history of the Arapaho people. These people were sent to the once inhospitable Wind River Reservation along with the Shoeshones by the Government. The land was desolate with cold winters and scorched summers.

The Victim had both Arapaho and Catholic rituals performed in his funeral. Most of the people had converted to being Catholic but the widow of the Chairman still wanted Arapaho rituals to be performed. The ritual was performed to make sure that the Chairman reached the spirit world. The ritual involved a lot of smoke. Everyone reached for the smoke and breathed it in. this practice was called smudging. It made Vicky connect with her people and all life in general. It is not clear what the God fearing Father thinks of the rituals but he remains calm and offers compassion to those who are mourning. Eventually Vicky and Father O’Malley are able to confront the killer. The plot is compelling and a great deal of knowledge is passed on in the story telling process.

The Ghost Walker 1996

Father John O’Malley is found stuck in a blizzard in the beginning of the story. He is shocked to find a corpse in a ditch right next to the highway near where his car stopped working. He makes it back and then comes back with police only to find that the body is gone. The talk of Ghost walkers break out among the Arapahos. These are the souls that are stuck between the physical realm and the spirit world. A few days after the incident a young man vanishes from the reservation. That is not all, a young woman is found murdered in a gruesome manner. Father O’Malley and Vicky are quick to investigate the incidents but soon realize that they are being followed. This all leads to a brilliant climax that would be a crime to spoil for readers.

The Arapaho’s believe that one can hear the divine approaching in complete silence. They painted their church walls with symbols that represented the journey of life. Christ was represented like the worriers of old times. Father O’Malley knew that the christian version of worship was one of many to the people of Arapaho. He was there to perform the rituals needed for the recently deceased. He soon finds out that his superiors are considering shutting down St Francis Mission to build a multi million dollar family recreation center. The Arapahos do not seem bothered by this as they see it as a possibility of increased employment. O’Malley goes to Vicky Holden for help but she and her husband are busy finding their daughter who is possibly connected with a group of people who committed the murders. All this unfolding events have taken a toll on the father making him consider Drinking alcohol once more despite his sad past.

The character development and story telling is a work of art that will be enjoyed by all. It is a captivating and thrilling book that you wont be able put down once you have invested into the events that occur. Make sure you read all the books in the Wind River series.

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