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Rock with Wings  By  cover art

Rock with Wings

By: Anne Hillerman
Narrated by: Christina Delaine
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Publisher's summary

Navajo tribal cops Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, investigate two perplexing cases in this exciting Southwestern mystery from the New York Times best-selling author of Spider Woman's Daughter.

Doing a good deed for a relative offers the perfect opportunity for Sergeant Jim Chee and his wife, Officer Bernie Manuelito, to get away from the daily grind of police work. But two cases will call them back from their short vacation and separate them - one near Shiprock and the other at iconic Monument Valley.

Chee follows a series of seemingly random and cryptic clues that lead to a missing woman, a coldblooded thug, and a mysterious mound of dirt and rocks that could be a gravesite. Bernie has her hands full managing the fallout from a drug bust gone wrong, uncovering the origins of a fire in the middle of nowhere, and looking into an ambitious solar energy development with long-ranging consequences for Navajo land.

Under the guidance of their mentor, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, Bernie and Chee will navigate unexpected obstacles and confront the greatest challenge yet to their skills, commitment, and courage.

©2015 Anne Hillerman (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Rock with Wings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Navago Mystery Story

Officer Bernie Manuelito and Sergeant Jim Chee start a brief vacation when two cases cause them to forgo the vacation. Chee has a case of a missing women and a mysterious mound of dirt and rocks. Bernie is managing the fallout from a drug bust gone wrong. She uncovers the origins of a fire in the middle of nowhere. She is also looking into an ambitious solar energy development with consequences for the Navajos. All the while she is dealing with her sister’s drinking problem.

The book is well written and researched as to Navajo culture. The descriptions of the four corners area are excellent. Anne has kept the book authentic, but she has put her own signature on it. She is not duplicating her father’s style but applying her own style to the series. She features Bernie Manuelito more than Chee or Leaphorn. She has managed to keep the flavor of her father’s stories while inserting her own. In this story the author had a bit of a problem with the plot. It appeared a bit formulated. Her prior book had a better developed plot. I am looking forward to seeing what she does with the next book.

The book is about ten and half hours long. Christina Delaine does a good job narrating the story. Delaine is a voice over artist and audiobook narrator.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

No Native Americans for narration?

Ms Hilerman does a good job carrying on stories in her father's style. I enjoyed the story, but had great difficulty with the narrator. I know she is an accomplished performer, but lacked the ability to carry off the Navajo characters. are there no Native American, especially Navajo, narrators? surely Ms Hillerman could find one?

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Navajo Police save the day again

The story follows the line of the other Hillerman novels with all the characters that we love. The reading of the Navajo words and accents of the Navajo people were very distracting to me. I wish they would find a native reader for these novels!!

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

Another great book by Anne Hillerman. So glad she has continued the Chee / Leaphorn books. The stories have been seamless and just as exciting.

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8 people found this helpful

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Happy to See Anne Picking up where her father left

Where does Rock with Wings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the better ones.

What other book might you compare Rock with Wings to and why?

Any Tony Hillerman novels. Picking up with characters her father created Anne keeps you from wondering "what ever happened to Chee and the others.?

Have you listened to any of Christina Delaine’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Haven't listened to toheres.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Navajo mystery the next generation.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the book. Though not as detailed in Navajo culture, still a good story and nice to hear a woman's take on the characters.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

very disappointed

Would you ever listen to anything by Anne Hillerman again?

Maybe, I love reading about the Southwest. I looked forward to listening to this book but was very disappointed.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator read the conversation in a slooooooow "Native American" dialect...giving the wrong impression of her characters.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So Disappointing

What would have made Rock with Wings better?

Having a different narrator would have helped. I have never given a narrator a poor rating before and I have listened to dozens of books, but this narration was really bad and made most of the Native-American characters sound dim-witted. The writing was also disappointing and predictable. Some of the lines were dreadful.

Has Rock with Wings turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I love the characters and was looking forward to the book.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The plot must have flown with the Rock with Wings

There's nothing tougher for an author than trying to fill in the shoes of an established writer with a strong following. Anne Hillerman has tried, but after three of her books, I'm back to re-listening or reading the original Leaphorn and Chee novels by her father.

Christina Delaine does a decent job of performing the multiple character roles, although Chee sounds a little wimpy and indecisive. Her intonation of the Navajo English patois is as close to reality as I've heard from an audio book performer. If only she had material to match her performance. Even a strong performance cannot save this book.

Rock with Wings drags interminably through the first nearly four hours, which is when I gave up listening and returned the book. There is a whisper of a plot, but most of the effort is spent on a visitor's guide to Monument Valley, a smattering of cultural history, and Bernie Manuelito's whiny relations with mother and sister. There were many minutes wasted in the prior books about her dealings with an aging mother and alcoholic, irresponsible sister.

Okay, enough already. We get it. Alcohol abuse is a real life challenge in the Dinétah. Responsible Navajo family members carry great real-life burdens dealing with dysfunctional family members. If Hillerman wants to writer a sociological assessment of the Manuelito family, just call it that and don't pretend the book is a Leaphorn-Chee mystery.

Leaphorn is an overused aside referencing his recovery from a gunshot wound in the previous book. Marriage for Chee has taken something from his character and turned him into a pliable, rudderless mound of clay that three hours of listening takes away the joy of his former skills and character. His challenge of balancing Navajo tradition with the realities of police work left the series with the death of Tony Hillerman.

Anne Hillerman had an amazing opportunity to take on the role of extending her father's work with Bernie Manuelito as the lead character. Droning for more than three hours with only a reference to two boxes of dirt and a boldly marked desert grave seems to hint there might be a plot and perhaps a mystery.

The true mystery is the purpose of most of the first three hours of the book. And dang, the Rock with Wings, Ship Rock, is one of my favorite places to see in the Navajo Nation.

Give this book a pass.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but too slow

Enjoyed the glimpses of Navajo culture and beliefs, but the plot moved a bit too slowly with the main characters asking themselves the same question over and over.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better than her dad!

If you could sum up Rock with Wings in three words, what would they be?

Monumental Western Landscape.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bernie for sheer grit.

Which scene was your favorite?

Visiting Joe Leaphorn at the end and tying up all the loose ends.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Hearing all the old names from the Tony Hillerman books I have read and loved.

Any additional comments?

I know I will listen to this many times. The gentle caring relationships among the characters warms the heart.

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