Hailed as "a wonderful storyteller" by the New York Times, and a "national and literary cultural sensation" by the Los Angeles Times, bestselling author Tony Hillerman is back with another blockbuster novel featuring the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee.
Former Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn comes out of retirement to help investigate what seems to be a trading post robbery. A simple-minded kid nailed for the crime is the cousin of an old colleague of Sergeant Jim Chee. He needs help and Chee, and his fiancée Bernie Manuelito, decide to provide it.
Proving the kid's innocence requires finding the remains of one of 172 people whose bodies were scattered among the cliffs of the Grand Canyon in an epic airline disaster 50 years in the past. That passenger had handcuffed to his wrist an attaché case filled with a fortune in diamonds -- one of which seems to have turned up in the robbery.
But with Hillerman, it can't be that simple. The daughter of the long-dead diamond dealer is also seeking his body. So is a most unpleasant fellow willing to kill to make sure she doesn't succeed. These two tense tales collide deep in the canyon at the place where an old man died trying to build a cult reviving reverence for the Hopi guardian of the Underworld. It's a race to the finish in a thunderous monsoon storm to see who will survive, who will be brought to justice, and who will finally unearth the Skeleton Man.
If you're looking for a thrilling, page turning, heart pounding adventure - move on; but if you're in the market for a thoughtful mystery set in a stunning location look no further. I think I would have enjoyed Skeleton Man wherever and however I'd read it, but it's quite possible that I particularly enjoyed it because I listened to most of it on a long solo car journey with absolutely no distractions, so I could take in every mellow, gravelly word read by George Guidall. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Santa Fe New Mexican
One of his strongest and most specific plots...amusingly wry dialogue...keenly observed detail.
A fascinating whodunit and a window into a rich culture....a gem.
The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio
In his masterly reworking of this powerful myth, Hillerman creates a kachina for contemporary times -- a hermit who lives in a cave at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and dispenses diamonds (''the symbol of greed,'' according to one wary recipient) that can corrupt anyone who mistakes their cold glitter for true light.
Starred Review. The stakes are high and the danger escalates clear through to the final pages. Hillerman continues to shine as the best of the West.
Booklist - Connie Fletcher
Starred Review. Hillerman manages to craft both a rip-roaring adventure tale, partially set in the treacherous downward slopes of the Grand Canyon, and a character-driven mystery in which Leaphorn's melancholy over retirement and Bernie Manuelito's uncertainty over her engagement to Sergeant Chee are both believable and involving. Another Hillerman stunner.
Adventures ensue. No mystery this time, but considerable suspense in the race to bottom of one of the most spectacular and treacherous landscapes Hillerman's ever explored.
Hillerman is a prolific writer, not just of fiction, but also
non-fiction (usually on Indian Country issues), and has also edited four
Navajo mystery series order: The Blessing Way, in 1970, Dance
Hall of the Dead (1973), Listening Woman (1978), People
of Darkness (1980), The Dark Wind (1982),
The Ghostway (1984). Skinwalkers (1986), A Thief of Time
(1988), Talking God (1989), Coyote Waits (1990),
Sacred Clowns (1993), The Fallen Man (1996), The First Eagle
(1998), Hunting Badger (1999), The Wailing Wind (2002),
The Sinister Pig (2003), Skeleton Man (2004) Coming SoonThe Shape
Shifter (to be published June 2006).
You'll find excerpts from, and reviews of, four of his more recent books
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