Smith published this book directly after his big hit, 'Gorky Park.' However, it never achieved that much success. Reading it, I can see why. It's an interesting concept, but not necessarily wholly successful.
It's an historical novel about a Native American man, Joe Pena, in the US military who is assigned to work with Oppenheimer on the Trinity Project. (the nuclear bomb). Pena's been fished out of a jail cell due to his ties with Oppenheimer, and is really expected to spy on the man, whom his superior suspects is a traitor.
Although the book comes *this* close to being a thriller, it really isn't. It's more of a rumination on racism, suspicion, poverty, ambition, violence, and, of course, love.
It's a very tense book, but the tension is more of an overarchingly oppressive aura than the tension of impending action - we, of course, know what happened at Trinity/Stallion Gate, so the outcome is not really in doubt.
This was not a bad book, but it was not my favorite by Cruz Smith.