The late Tony Hillerman wrote a memorable series (recently brought back to life by his daughter!) that gives beautiful insights into Native American c..Show More »ulture and history, coupled with very good mysteries.
In this one Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee are working side by side--aware of each other's cases, but not exactly focused on the same one (even though, of course, they will eventually tie together). It begins with Officer Chee watching a Pueblo ceremony that includes Sacred Clowns. He should be keeping his eye on a young boy that will soon go missing, just as one of the clowns will soon be murdered. This book has the usual good sense of mystery--of complicated situations that parallel each other for a while before their connections are felt. But beyond that, and what makes these so special, is the sense of being brought into a way of life that is fascinating.
Officer Chee is often at odds with himself over his calling--he wants to be a police officer, but is deeply connected to the spiritual, healing community--which looks at human behavior a bit differently. This book offers a beautiful example of the difference between the usual police procedures and the way the Navajo regard dealing with human mistakes. There is a great deal of compassion in the unique way that Officer Chee will handle one of the several story lines in this wonderful book.
It is hard to find enough ways to recommend this book, and this entire series! The narration is quite good, and I just didn't want the story to end!