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A Gabriel Hawke Novel #7
BY PATY JAGER
Missing or Murdered
When the local authorities tell State Trooper Gabriel Hawke’s mother to wait 72 hours before reporting a missing Umatilla woman, she calls her son and rallies members of the community to search.
Hawke arrives at the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation and learns the single mother of a boy his mom watches would never leave her son. Angered over how the local officials respond to his investigating, Hawke teams up with a security guard at the Indian casino and an FBI agent. Following the leads, they discover the woman was targeted by a human trafficking ring at the Spotted Pony Casino.
Hawke, Dela Alvaro, and FBI Special Agent Quinn Pierce join forces to bring the woman home and close down the trafficking operation before someone else goes missing.
ABOUT STOLEN BUTTERFLY
I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than by sharing with you a book that I hope you will purchase, not for me, but for the cause it is supporting.
In case, you haven’t guessed this by now about me, I tend to have a small agenda in all of the books I write. I like to show injustices and hope the reader thinks a bit about it after they have finished the book.
For years, I’ve been hearing about how many Indigenous women, children, and even men go missing from reservations or are found murdered. It is a large number when you consider they make up only 2% of the population and yet have the highest percentage of missing and murdered people.
When I decided I wanted to write a book about this subject, I turned to Gabriel Hawke. He is an Oregon State Trooper who grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla reservation. From book one in the series, I’d set up the premise of book 7, Stolen Butterfly. In the first book, Hawke visits his mother at the reservation. She watches children for single parents. Hawke meets the woman who goes missing in Stolen Butterfly.
Before I started the book, I knew I would need to help from people behind the MMIP/MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous People/ Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) cause. I reached out to an author who lives in Pendleton (a town near the reservation) and she put me in touch with a woman who worked with social services, who sent me to another woman, who gave my information to people on the reservation who had lost family members or were active in the MMIW cause.
Fortunately for me, there was a woman, Kola Shippentower-Thompson who was open to speaking with me and helping me make my book as authentic as I could. She has lost four family members from the reservation. Is the co-founder of Enough Iz Enough, a non-profit organization that teaches women and children how to protect themselves and how to avoid being a victim. She answered my questions, gave me insights into how the family feels, and read the book for accuracy and fluency. She also wrote this review: “The story was captivating, I couldn’t put it down. So many memories were brought to surface, so many emotions, like this has been lived before, because it has, this is a glimpse into our reality in the Reservation. Thank you for seeing us & helping tell part of the story.”
I was also pleased to learn she had worked security at the Indian casino and her husband is employed with the Tribal Police in the Fish and Wildlife Division. She was able to give me information about how the Tribal Police work as well as the security at the casino. One of the secondary characters in Stolen Butterfly works the casino security and is the main character in my new Spotted Pony Casino Mystery series that will release in July. (Hint: I will be talking about that next month. 😉)
So far, the reviews that have come in for the book have filled my chest with pride. I am opening eyes to the problem. This problem isn’t just on reservations. The Indigenous people who move to the cities get swallowed up. And with no family nearby they become victims with no one looking for them. I would love a world where no one has to live in fear.
The proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the non-profit Enough Iz Enough. This is a community outreach organization that advocates for MMIW on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 51 novels, 8 novellas, and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.