In the seventeenth novel of Tony Hillerman's celebrated Leaphorn and Chee series, Navajo Tribal Police Sergeant Jim Chee once again teams up with retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn to tackle a 50-year-old stolen diamond mystery on the Navajo reservation.
Tony Hillerman, hailed as "a wonderful storyteller" by the New York Times and a "national and literary cultural sensation" by the Los Angeles Times , is back with another blockbuster novel featuring the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee.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 who, with his fiance_, decides to help.Proving the kid's innocence requires finding the remains of one of 172 people killed in an epic airline disaster fifty years in the past. That passenger had handcuffed to his wrist an attach_ 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 that long-dead diamond dealer is also seeking his body. So is an unpleasant fellow willing to kill to make sure she doesn't succeed. It's a race to the finish in a thunderous monsoon to see who will survive, who will be brought to justice, and who will finally unearth the Skeleton Man .Performed by George Guidall
"The Skeleton Man, according to Hopi legend, is the Guardian Spirit of the Underworld, the one who takes away mortals' fear of death. In Hillerman's nineteenth Navajo Tribal Police mystery, this ancient belief has special, chilling application to a search for skeletal remains in the Grand Canyon. The novel takes off from an actual plane disaster--the 1956 collision of a United Airlines and a TWA plane over the Grand Canyon. When a small-time criminal tries to pawn a diamond he allegedly discovered on the floor of the Grand Canyon, a series of events (what Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, now retired but still involved, believes are part of the universe's interlocking chains) is triggered, all leaping from a quest for a vast inheritance. The first link in the chain is that the diamond belonged to one of the plane-crash victims, a man who was carrying a fortune in jewels in an attache case handcuffed to his wrist. The victim's arm is central to the quest, since DNA will determine who deserves the inheritance. 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. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In MWA Grandmaster Hillerman's sterling 17th Chee/Leaphorn novel, a 1956 collision between passenger planes high above the Grand Canyon leaves a courier's arm and attached diamond-filled security case unaccounted for after almost half a century. Enter retired Navajo Tribal Police Lt. Joe Leaphorn, who must try to connect the dots between an old robbery involving a valuable diamond and a more recent crime involving another diamond, both of which may somehow be related to the plane-crash jewels. The puzzle soon draws in fellow Navajo officer Sgt. Jim Chee and former cop Bernie Manuelito, Chee's soon-to-be bride. Billy Tuve, a cousin of Chee's lawman buddy Cowboy Dashee, is arrested after trying to pawn a gem believed to have come from the more recent robbery. Dashee enlists Chee's help to verify Tuve's story of a mysterious old man who gave him the jewel during a journey to a canyon-bottom shrine. But the good guys soon learn there are plenty more people in the hunt, and some will stop at nothing to get what they're after. The stakes are high and the danger escalates clear through to the final pages. Hillerman continues to shine as the best of the West. Agent, Maureen Walters at Curtis Brown. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved