People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jacket Blurb: Who would murder a dying
man? Why would someone steal a box of rocks? And why would a rich man's
wife pay $3,000 to get them back? These questions haunt Sgt. Jim Chee
of the Navajo Tribal Police as he journeys into the scorching Southwest.
But there, out in the Bad Country, a lone assassin waits for Chee to
come seeking answers, waits ready and willing to protect a vision of
death that for thirty years has been fed by greed and washed in blood.
Read as an audio book.
I started this series back on audio about 2008, but the library only had 1-3 at the time and there I stopped. Looking for new material recently, I noticed more were available and jumped at the opportunity. I wasn't disappointed.
This book starts with Jimmy Chee, new-ish to the job and area, contemplating if he wants to continue life in law enforcement, become a Navajo Singer like his uncle, or pursue a career with the FBI. When he is called to investigate the theft of a box of keepsakes, he uncovers a mystery that spans decades.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. I thought the narrators voice was absolutely perfect for the setting and characters. The story itself grabbed my attention and the way the plot just spooled out, kept it. This is one time where I didn't mind knowing what the antagonist was doing, and I think it was because Hillerman focus on the antagonists actions more so than his motivations. That I could handle, rather than delving into the dark recesses of some warped and twisted mind.
The romance between Jimmy and Mary was subtle, a tentative exploration of possibility rather than the usual hot attraction, which I also greatly appreciated. Chee makes the statement/assumption that she's just another white woman who's curious about Indian's, while at the same time subconsciously (or maybe not so subconsciously) acknowledges that he's curious about white women.
I liked Mary's character. She was blunt, challenging, and I thought she didn't fit the typical mold of 'helpless', constantly questioning, and ignoring directions.
Overall, this was an engaging and delightful plot, well executed and beautifully narrated. I didn't see the full resolution coming (other than the obvious, what the killer was going to do was really no secret) and I enjoyed the twists and turns to bring Chee and Landon to the end.
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