Ghost Dance: 02/20/07
Ghost Dance is one of those books I've had for ages, still planning to read and still thinking of it as a "new" book even though it had been sitting on my shelf for three years. I'm glad I finally read it so I can clear it from my shelf and sent it onto another BookCrossing member but it wasn't as good as I had hoped.
The book has a number of interesting threads but they don't weave together into a coherent plot. The story starts promising with a priest who can cure those suffering from the Spanish flu with the laying of hands. Then there is the anthropologist who has broken up with his wife after many years of traveling around the world from one remote place to another. The reasons behind their break up is hinted at but never fully developed. The bulk of book is spent on the present day ghastly murders of people who own pieces of a dead woman's journal and finally there is the journal itself.
The plot gets hung up on the journal entries by Many Horses. There are entire chapters devoted to these journal entries that serve as filler between the action scenes of the present day murders by a man calling himself Charun. These entries break the pace of the mystery and really don't fit in the book; it is as if Sullivan didn't have quite enough plot for two books and decided to mash them together into one book instead.
The biggest disappointment of Ghost Dance is the resolution of the mystery of Father D'Angelo's death nor much explanation of how he could suddenly cure the deathly ill. His piece of the story is summed up with a couple of sentences tossed in at the end of book. It was his story that hooked me into the mystery and I felt cheated when his story wasn't picked up until the last pages of the book.