While there is no denying the obvious parallels between RPM and Lucy Kettle and AIM and Anna Mae Aquash, they are for the purpose of soul searching not accusations of guilt. Thumps solves the mystery in both his present and past but is no closer to solving his dilemma of what to do about Noah Ridge. It would be nice to think of Noah as the self-serving pig who got what he came for with his trip to Chinook: five minutes on Jay Leno and a second printing of his book.
But he was also right when he said if it wasn't for him keeping Native issues in the public eye, who would? He's only playing the game the way the American government has been playing it for hundreds of years, manipulating facts and events to get whatever advantage possible from them. Besides, as Dakota Miles tells him, Noah is the RPM and without him it would have ceased to exist in the eyes of the public years ago.
Some mysteries don't have the luxury of the easy answer of simply finding the guilty party, and Thomas King in The Red Power Murders has created that creature. While there are black and white answers to the who done it aspects of this book, the others are left hanging in the air like so much smoke after a three alarm blaze. While this is a good mystery story, it is the places where it slips the boundaries of its genre that make it a great work of fiction.