Indian Burial Ground
April 16, 2024

Book Review

Indian Burial Ground

reviewed by Sandra Hoover


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Indian Burial Ground by Author Nick Medina is a bone chilling, highly atmospheric acknowledgment of the stereotyping and plight of Indigenous people.  A character driven story of generational drama that’s rich in mythology and tribal lore, this story highlights social issues long suffered by marginalized people living on reservations including suicide, alcoholism, and violence. 

It’s an honest, straight forward portrayal of a family in crisis as they confront the spirits and demons they thought buried.

Thirty-eight-year-old Noemi Brossard is optimistic about escaping the reservation for a better life when she receives devastating news that her prosperous, happy boyfriend committed suicide.  She knows in her heart something’s not right and begins probing into the circumstances surrounding his death.  After being gone for decades, her Uncle Louie returns to the reservation around the same time.  To help Noemi with her grief, he descends back down the dark, lethal rabbit hole of his past, sharing his time as a seventeen-year-old boy working to hold his family together as his mother succumbed to the lure of alcohol.  Eventually, Louie ended up alone caring for a young Noemi while navigating an array of mysterious and horrific supernatural events occurring on tribal land.  Among other things, strange occurrences are attributed to a sinister spirit targeting the tribe and some of these scenes are horror based, so be forewarned. Now, Noemi and Louie are facing some tough questions.  Has Louie’s return to the tribe angered the spirits causing them to lash out? Was Noemi’s boyfriend’s death suicide or is something more sinister happening? Despite the imperilment of unlocking demons and spirits best left to rest, Louie and Noemi begin rattling cages by digging into the past.

Indian Burial Ground is a stunning, blood curdling blend of mystery and horror. I don’t mind saying I’m a wimp when it comes to reading horror, but I found this story to be eerily hypnotic and haunting and was intrigued by the mysterious yet deadly aura engulfing the characters and story overall. Medini’s expert weaving of mythical and cultural lore throughout enhances the story line while lending an authentic yet supernatural feel. The story unfolds through two timelines – the dark past through Louie and the present via Noemi. Both points of view come together to paint a heartbreaking picture of the generational impact of trauma and abuse on groups of Indigenous people. While the story is chilling with a menacing tone, an encouraging message of inner strength and hope manages to peek through.

Author Nick Medini has crafted a brutally honest, powerful story of the devastating effects of substance abuse on both the addicted and their loved ones in Indian Burial Ground.  His commitment and willingness to take a stand and offer a voice to marginalized people by exposing the stereotyping and challenges faced by life on a reservation is commendable.  Medini’s passion and desire to open the public’s eyes and be a conduit for change is evident by the inclusion of his message at the end offering helpful avenues to Natives (and anyone else) seeking help for alcohol abuse and mental health issues.  The author’s enthusiasm and knowledge of Native lore and culture is clear as he flawlessly weaves supernatural myths and legends into this suspense laden, heartbreaking mystery/horror story.  Highly recommended to fans of mystery, horror and stories featuring Indigenous people.


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