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Fiction/Biography Profile
1988 - Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel winner
1988 - Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Novel winner
Joe Leaphorn (Male), Police lieutenant, Widower, Retired, Navajo, Native American,
Jim Chee (Male), Tribal policeman, Navajo, Native American, Survives a shotgun assault to his trailer
Native Americans
Navajo Indians
Native American culture
Murder investigations
Shooting victims
Reservation life
Native American folklore
- West (U.S.)
- Southwest (U.S.)
Time Period
1980s -- 20th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Vibrant with the spirit of the Navajo people of the Southwest, Hillerman's new story is a spellbinder, like his Edgar Winner Dance Hall of the Dead and other praised novels. Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the tribal police work together here, trying to solve crimes that resist logic. There are no clues to three homicides or to the attempted murder of Chee. Leaphorn thinks a ``skinwalker,'' or witch, could have attacked the victims, all adherents of shamanism, as they are otherwise unrelated. The skinwalkers represent a schism between witchcraft and the traditional Navajo Way. A second attempt on Chee bolsters Leaphorn's suspicion since Chee is an aspiring shaman. The story gathers momentum and tension as the partners get closer to the moment when the murderer comes into the open, and the tragic reason for the crimes becomes painfully clear. 30,000 first printing; BOMC alternate; author tour. (January 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Navajo Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn investigate murders that lead them into spine-tingling and mystical world of Navajo witchcraft. Three unsolved homicides and an attempt on Chee's life have left the Navajo Tribal Police baffled. Are the murders somehow connected, although they occurred 120 miles apart? Or are they random acts of violence? Chee and Leaphorn's efforts to solve the seemingly unrelated individual crimes leave them with clues that point toward one suspect, in this suspenseful mystery.Performed by the author.
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