In 1957, Nelson Queah watched as the sacred falls at Celilo slowly disappeared with the closing of the flood gates of The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River. War hero, Wasco Indian and passionate opponent of the dam’s construction, Queah stood by helplessly as ten thousand years of tribal history and fishing tradtion were erased in four hours. That night Nelson Queah vanished without a trace.
Fifty years later to the day, Cal Claxton attends a Native American commemoration of the flooding of the falls, where he’s introduced to a woman named Winonah who tells him her grandfather, Nelson Queah, disapperared fifty years earlier. A single witness claimed to have seen Queah drunk by the river, suggesting either suicide or accidental drowning. Winonah–who never bought the drunk Indian story–asks Cal to help her discover the truth. Cal is reluctant, but he agrees to help after reading a cache of letters discovered by Winonah that were written by Queah to her grandmother. The letters suggest foul play.
From the Oregon wine country to the streets of Portland, to the Columbia River Gorge, Cal uncovers secrets that have remained hidden for fifty years. He learns of a get-rich scheme pulled off during the construction of the dam and the blackmail plot used to leverage the deal. Powerful men were involved, and there’s evidence that murders were committed to cover up the theft.
To help Winonah find the truth about her grandfather, Cal must navigate between white and Native American cultures and feuding police jurisdictions. At the same time, he must come to terms with his unresolved feelings about his wife’s death and his growing interest in the beautiful, headstrong Winonah.
Praise for Not Dead Enough:
“Masterfully crafted, this tale of greed, deception, and revenge has an added benefit–the stunningly beautiful descriptions of the lush landscapes of Oregon’s Columbia River country. Easley’s characters bring enough complex complications to keep you reading long after regular bedtime.” —Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author