Ella Clah, a First Nations Police Special Investigator, is the central character in a series of mystery/police procedural novels by American authors Aimee Thurlo and David Thurlo.
She is also one of the most enduring and popular characters in detective fiction today. Ella’s dedicated fans have long dreamed of the bestselling, critically acclaimed series coming to television.
Blackening Song is the debut of FBI agent Ella Clah, who returns to the reservation to investigate the murder of her father, a minister. The ritual nature of the killing makes Ella’s brother, a medicine man, the prime suspect.
Without cooperation from the tribe, the FBI, or the local police, Ella must plumb the depths of the struggle between traditionalist and modernist forces among the reservation to find her father’s murderer.
An accomplished FBI agent, Ella Clah becomes head of a tribal police unit as she grows increasingly conflicted about the life, people, and world she left behind years ago.
She was raised in a discordant household that made her childhood difficult: There always seemed to be a vehement clash between her father, a Modernist – a fundamentalist preacher – and her mother, a Traditionalist who follows the old tribal ways.
Torn between two paradigms, Ella married right out of high school, a rebellious escape. She was shy, insecure, and overly reliant on her Army Ranger husband Eugene until his death in a car accident.
When this happened, her sense of identity was shattered, and she moved away.
She is culturally competent with unique perspectives in two completely different worlds: the cutthroat, fast-paced domain of FBI/federal law enforcement, and rural, deliberately paced, traditional life on the Reservation.
She is culturally competent with unique perspectives in two completely different worlds: the cut throat, fast-paced domain of FBI/federal law enforcement, and rural, deliberately paced, traditional life on the Reservation.
Despite all this, she is torn between two vastly different paradigms which meet in a head-on collision as she is forced back to the place she tried to forget, where she must reconnect with her estranged people to solve her father’s murder, and a string of cases that bring her ever closer to her past as her future comes into question when she becomes pregnant with a daughter she is too afraid to have.
A neo-Western psychological thriller in which the titular character, an FBI agent in Los Angeles, finds herself questioning everything she once believed about herself and her people when she is reluctantly pulled back to the Reservation she was raised on to investigate the ritualistic murder of her father.
Ella's brother, a medicine man, is in hiding as the prime suspect. As the tribe, FBI, and local authorities refuse to cooperate, she is compelled to navigate the struggle between the Old guard and the new ways of her tribe to solve his murder.
Thus begins a quest for truths across an exciting and expansive character driven procedural mystery series as Ella becomes a special investigator with the tribal police to solve crimes on the reservation, which involve tribal politics, cultural divides and the blurred lines between folklore and the truly supernatural.
All the while, old demons begin to surface, and tribal divisiveness is on the rise, and she soon realizes that the dangers facing her on the Reservation are with far greater stakes than anything she’s encountered before. On top of it all, she becomes pregnant with a daughter she is petrified to raise, let alone bring into the world.