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Dakota by Gwen Florio
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Dakota (edition 2014)

by Gwen Florio

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5222335,598 (3.48)10
Member:permanent
Title:Dakota
Authors:Gwen Florio
Info:The Permanent Press (2014), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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Dakota by Gwen Florio

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Brand new library card in hand, I browsed the New Books of the remodeled and modernized main Palo Alto Library—I wanted to find a book to check out. There before me was Gwen Florio’s Dakota. The bold red and black cover features an oil rig and the jacket informs that this is a follow up to her well-received Montana. That was enough for me; I’m off to the check-out computers to scan my new card. Time to read.

It’s winter in Montana and aggressive reporter Lola Wicks is working for Magpie Daily Express in a fictional town near the Blackfeet Nation. She senses a big story when she overhears her boyfriend, Charlie the Sheriff, talking on the phone about finding the frozen body of a missing Blackfeet teenager. The missing girl was last seen alive in North Dakota, 500 miles east of Magpie. What was the girl doing in North Dakota? Lola takes up the challenge and accompanied by her three-legged dog she heads out for the Oil Patch, which turns out to be a dangerous place for inquisitive reporters.

Florio’s aggressive plotting leads to burlesque at times— I found myself laughing in the midst of mayhem, murder, kidnapping and assault. But, the plot moves along quickly, and serious topics are covered with sensitivity. I liked the book enough to download Montana (the eBook), and I enjoyed that also.

Carto ( )
  cartoslibrary | May 9, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a Library Thing Member give away for a review - 1st I apologize for taking so long - I started this when I received it, but put it down and had a hard time picking it back up again... I decided I had to finish it before the end of the year and almost succeeded because it was really a GREAT READ! Full of suspense, I was so fearful for Lola. The whole story was an interesting insight of what most probably goes on at "man camps" in the oilfields out in desolate areas. I would definitely recommend it - it is really an easy read once you get past the 1s quarter of the book the suspense increases. The ending was definitely not expected but a perfect ending for a another sequel. ( )
  booklovers2 | Jan 10, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I should start off by saying that I am a North Dakotan, I live here, my family lives here, my parents were raised here, so my perspective on this may be different than others.

This was a good mystery and it kept me guessing right up to the reveal. Lola is a reporter who decided to go after a story even though her Montana newspaper and Sheriff boyfriend Charlie tell her not to. She finds herself in the North Dakota Oil patch where the men outnumber the women by a huge percentage and finds herself hip deep in all sorts of trouble. She’s on the hunt for a killer of a young girl and maybe even more girls, when she puts it together that many women from the Blackfoot Reservation in Magpie, Montana are going to the patch to work and that work ends up being dancing or prostitution but they are ending up dead, not rich like they were hoping. She takes it upon herself to find the answers and it puts her in danger.

I liked the character of Lola she’s scrappy and fearless, of course that fearlessness gets her in trouble as she dives feet first into a story that is much bigger than she ever expected. I liked this book well enough that I plan to read Florio’s first book Montana and I look forward to reading more of Lola’s adventure’s especially after the ending of this one I am curious how she will deal with that going forward.

The author also does a good job of respecting the Native Americans while honoring their culture. Also the descriptions of the man camps and the bars near them were pretty spot on.

I wish the narrator, Caroline Shaffer, hadn’t used the movie Fargo to learn a North Dakota accent. The character of Charlotte sounds just like the lady cop on the movie/tv show Fargo, and that annoyed me to no end. Her Native American accents were a little better and the main character was good because she wasn’t from North Dakota. Also The Bakken is pronounced Bahkken (like Bah humbug). It wasn’t that the narrator was bad I liked her narration except when she was doing her Fargo impressions. So I would listen to this new to me narrator again as long as the book wasn’t set in my home state!

This story looks at the gritty underbelly of the Bakken Oil Patch in North Dakota it involves prostitution and human trafficking and it may seem like fiction but unfortunately it is a true consequence of the major influx of people coming to ND to work, the crime rate in ND has gone up considerably and there are a lot of murders and crime on the west end of our state.

One thing that bothered me was, Thor saying this is Dakota, I have never heard anyone from North Dakota call it just Dakota because we need to make the distinction that we are North Dakota Not South Dakota.

3 ½ Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher & Librarything however I did end up checking out the audiobook from my library. ( )
  susiesharp | May 30, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Gwen Florio is a name well known in Montana. Although she is a transplant she gets automatic native status because she knows and understands Montana and its quirky personality and state of mind. We are a state that was disappointed when our population recently crossed the million mark and take pride whenever we meet another Montanan in finding at least one person that we know in common, and usually many more.

“Dakota” is Florio’s second novel and the first I have read. Most of the novel takes place across the state line in North Dakota, in the oil patch known as “the Bakken” but it originates on the Blackfeet reservation up on the “highline” and ends there as well and it is imbued with so many qualities that make Montana so unique. Florio’s detective, Lola Wicks, is a transplant as well, a former reporter for a Baltimore newspaper who now writes for the newspaper in “Magpie” the county seat and closest border town to the Blackfeet reservation. Lola is also in a relationship with Charlie Larendeau, the county’s first Indian sheriff. “Dakota” is the second in a series, so the set-up is interesting from the get-go and Florio has the story off and running almost immediately.

Judith Calf-Looking, a young Blackfeet woman who has been missing for several months, is discovered frozen on the prairie a few miles from her home. The discovery leads to speculation of course and soon the clues point to the fact that Lola has been earning her living as an exotic dancer in one of the raucous boom towns in the “Bakken”, where women are as scarce as they were in the gold rush days. Lola is smart, determined and sometimes foolhardy, but the desire to solve this crime quickly becomes a quest that seeks to redress the dishonor done to a young native woman and her family and to the families of other young Blackfeet women as well.

Florio has good insight into Blackfeet customs and traditions and her knowledge of how it works on the inside feel authentic and “right.” No community is perfect and Florio is honest in her description of reservation life as well as the workings of a reservation border town. Growing up on the reservation and trying to find a way out or a way to stay is the daunting challenge of so many native reservation youth today. Not since Debra Magpie Earling’s “Perma Red” has there been such an honest and poignant rendering of this challenge from a Montana author.

I truly enjoyed reading “Dakota” and am eager to get my hands on “Montana” as well as subsequent novels in this series. I had to suspend disbelief in a few places (was this North Dakota town in the oil patch really so far removed from any other legal authority or jurisdiction?) but the plotline was strong, the writing very engaging and I truly cared about the plight of Judith Calf Looking and her “sisters” in the Bakken “man camps”. The setting is unique, the landscape hauntingly beautiful and the mystery compelling. It is so good to have this window into the reality of life in part of Montana’s Indian Country. Thank you Gwen Florio! And to Debra Magpie Earling, I have been waiting so long for your next book. I hope it won’t be too much longer. ( )
  jfurshong | Mar 27, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my parents, Anthony and Patricia Florio
First words
The truck driver hunched and swore, peering through the slanting assult of snow.
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A girl hits The Train, she's at the end of the line, at least in this part of the world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 157962362X, Hardcover)

Former foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is getting a little bored in Magpie, Montana, where she landed at a small local newspaper after being downsized from her job in Kabul. Then Judith Calf Looking, a local Blackfeet girl missing for several months, turns up dead in a snowbank with a mysterious brand on her forearm. The sheriff - whose romantic relationship with Lola provides Magpie with its most delicious gossip in years - thinks Judith probably froze to death while hitch-hiking back to the reservation from wherever she'd been.

But Lola hears rumors that Judith had been working as an exotic dancer in the North Dakota oil fields, and further discovers that several Blackfeet girls, all known drug users, have gone missing over the past year. She heads out to the oil patch to check things out, only to find herself in a place where men outnumber women a hundred to one, the law looks the other way, and life - especially her own - is cheap.

Dakota shows the frightening underside of a boom-and-bust economy; of the effect on a small town when big-city money washes in, accompanied by hordes of men far from their families; of what happens when the old rules no longer apply, but the new ones are yet to be determined.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:03 -0400)

Former foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is getting a little bored in Magpie, Montana, where she landed at a small local newspaper after being downsized from her job in Kabul. Then Judith Calf Looking, a local Blackfeet girl missing for several months, turns up dead in a snowbank with a mysterious brand on her forearm. The sheriff - whose romantic relationship with Lola provides Magpie with its most delicious gossip in years - thinks Judith probably froze to death while hitch-hiking back to the reservation from wherever she'd been.But Lola hears rumors that Judith had been working as an exotic dancer in the North Dakota oil fields, and further discovers that several Blackfeet girls, all known drug users, have gone missing over the past year. She heads out to the oil patch to check things out, only to find herself in a place where men outnumber women a hundred to one, the law looks the other way, and life - especially her own - is cheap.Dakota shows the frightening underside of a boom-and-bust economy; of the effect on a small town when big-city money washes in, accompanied by hordes of men far from their families; of what happens when the old rules no longer apply, but the new ones are yet to be determined.… (more)

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