Thursday 2 February 2023


Synopsis/blurb ...


Who – or what – is killing members of the Navajo tribe? RESERVATIONS, the first book of the Jack Del Rio political mystery/thriller series, is set near Gallup, New Mexico, where the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni reservations lie adjacent. Three tribal leaders have been murdered - murdered in a fashion that suggests the deeds were carried out by COYOTE, a legendary supernatural evil trickster feared by many Native Americans.

The tribal president contacts an old friend in the FBI for assistance in solving the crimes and preventing more murders. Star agent, Jack Del Rio, is dispatched to New Mexico where he finds a situation tangled in political intrigue. Jack must work his way through those issues on his way to solving the mystery. Sparks fly as Navajo police officer Lucy Chee is assigned to assist him in his quest.

Question is can Del Rio and Chee solve the mystery and find the killer before he strikes again? Because the killer is on the hunt and he has his sights on Del Rio himself.

Enjoyable enough, but not amazing.

Interesting setting, informative backdrop with Navajo characters, customs, history and culture at the heart of the mystery. Decent main character, an outsider who operates in the environment sensitively. 

I enjoyed the story, it's quite pacey without feeling rushed. There is more than one murder to be solved and time is crucial before too many more victims are created. The ending was credible and satisfied me, answering all the questions previously posed. The motive for the murders held up.

I did have some minor gripes. I found the raison d'etre for the main tribal leader withholding information from the investigator initially unconvincing. And I found the main character's back story involving events occurring previously in London and involving the Queen, eye-rolling and near vomit inducing. I think the author went a bit OTT regarding his credibility. He could easily have been shown to be a capable and competent agent without resorting to a gimmick.

Otherwise lots to like about it, including a well sketched support cast of characters, a touch of romance and overall a satisfying multiple murder mystery. This one is the first in Paolinelli's Jack Del Rio series and I wouldn't be averse to trying another one in the series when time allows.

I liked the narration from Theo Holland - one of the best in the business in my opinion.

3.5 stars from 5

Richard Paolinelli's work has been enjoyed before - The Last Lonely Trail, co-authored with Jim Christina.

Read - (listened to) January, 2023

Published - 2015

Page count - 350 (6 hrs 46 mins)

Source - Audible purchase

Format - Audible


  1. Oh, my goodness, Col! I didn't know you were blogging again! I'm so happy to see this, and I'm sorry it took so long! Wow. As for this book, I like the sound of the setting, and I can see how it would hold the reader's interest. Thanks for introducing the author. But mostly, I'm really happy you're posting again!

    1. Margot thanks. Nice to know I've been missed in some quarters. My blogging is a bit sporadic at the minute, a bit like my current reading!

  2. We must see more of you if possible :-)

    1. Hi June - nice to be missed! I might be back at some point, assuming I can get a bit motivated.

    2. This site is one of my favorites and primarily because a large part of the focus seems to be on really good writing that doesn't receive nearly amount of attention that it gets. There are just too many websites that seem to focus on the same authors and books and we need more variety.

    3. Thank you. I do try to cover some under the radar authors that are worthy of a bit of attention!