Poison the Land

Two murders, a radioactively poisoned Native American family and rumors of a violent tribal activist bring a New York reporter to the Black hills of South Dakota where she uncovers a world of violence and deep set prejudice.

Fifteen years ago a low-end building contractor in Edgemont SD discovered a huge mountain of sand, hidden away at the end of an unused back road and protected only by a collapsing cyclone fence. He used that free sand in the foundations of a low income housing project he was building just outside the nearby Lakota Sioux Indian Reservation.

A year and a half after the new tenants moved into the twelve small houses, they began to get sick, very sick. The free sand turned out to be highly radioactive tailings from a nearby uranium mine.

A NY reporter, Nikki Healy, drawn by an anonymous letter describing an enormous environmental cover-up complicated by a pair of murders in a community starved for employment comes to Edgemont to investigate.

She finds a poor Sioux family driven from their poisoned home and a laconic Sheriff, bent on keeping the peace between hostile rednecks facing job cuts at the area’s only industry and already poverty stricken Native Americans striving for their share of an almost non-extant pot.

The situation escalates due to additional murders, the near rape of a white college girl employed at the Black Hills Alliance and the discovery of a past attack on a Native American girl working at the same agency.

Hovering over all these events like a dark eagle is Nate Falconer a mysterious, charismatic Indian activist with a history of violence.

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