A dying man is murdered. A rich man's wife agrees to pay $3,000 for the return of a stolen box of rocks.
A series of odd, inexplicable events is haunting Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police and drawing him alone into the Bad Country of the merciless Southwest, where nothing good can survive...including Chee. Because an assassin waits for him there, protecting a 30-year-old vision that greed has sired and blood has nourished. And only one man will walk away.
©1980 Tony Hillerman (P)1990 Recorded Books, LLC
And Buffalo George
Jim Chee, Navajo policeman assembles three disparate clues into a final ending that blow your sox off. Brilliant police work, exciting characters and a dash of New Mexico Navajo culture tossed in. Engrossing and interesting, well paced. Chee is on the cusp of a life decision, which does not get made in this book...maybe next time?
This is a very good reading of Tony Hillerman's People of Darkness. It is both a simple story of a young Navajo tribal policeman, a simply told story of an assassin twisted by life, and a complicated story of an educated man's greed that resulted in the very nasty death of his allies. The plot is perfect, the murder weapon is amazing.
I read this book years ago and I could not put it down then. Even knowing where the story goes as it twist its way through Jim Chee's search for harmony and the assassin's search for home, It is still so interesting that I listened almost without pause.
An early reviewer noted that he didn't think Jim Chee, the young policeman is a coward.
When he survives gunshot wounds inflicted by a professional killer, the gunman comes after him in the hospital. Even though his wounds have in no way begun to heal, suffering from the effects of the anesthetic, he finds away to avoid the being killed. Unfortunately the gunman is careful, he is not smart and shoots the unconscious man in the next bed. I think Chee suffers from survivor's guilt, not cowardice. This novel is pretty realistic, I suppose Chee could have overcome broken ribs and bloody holes, grabbed an IV pole and tried to duel a man with a large caliber gun, but I don't think any reader whose ever been attached to one of those things would have bought it.
Although I do miss Joe Leaphorn in this book. Leaphorn and Chee are so very different and their differences are make them fascinating.
By not portraying Jim Chee as a coward. Being Navajo, Dine, does not make one a total coward. So as not to give anything away, I would just say there was an excellent chance for Jim to do the right thing and the writer failed.
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