I'll start by praising the writing style. I'm a stickler for economy of words and word choice, and the author nails it. Mining Sacred Ground is a masterful display of imagery wrapped tightly around action verbs. This creates the desired effect of rapid pace and vitality of narrative.
The main character is an alcoholic, hallucinating, ex-cop thrown out of his own tribe for questionable reasons. When he's faced with solving multiple crimes connected by violent, gun-slinging thugs on both sides of the law, you know he's finding his way into trouble. And it's a great story, tight and consistent, free of irrelevant tangents or contradictions.
Having grown up in Scottsdale, Arizona, I know the setting, and the author brought me home with the authority of his descriptions. Having suffered bruised ribs, the author also brought me home to the brutality his main character suffered while fighting his way through long odds and self-doubt to drive this story home to a satisfying conclusion.
Some of the spiritual/hallucination scenes warp reality, but the writing is so vibrant and tight that any ambiguity in the shifts between reality and the main character's altered perception is excusable.
Mining Sacred Ground earned praise from the Military Writers Society of America for good reason. It's a gem worth reading.