The Wailing Wind

ISBN 10: 0061967815 / ISBN 13: 9780061967818
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Synopsis:

Officer Bernadette Manuelito found the dead man slumped over in the cab of a blue pickup abandoned in a dry gulch off a dirt road, with a rich ex-con's phone number in his pocket . . . and a tobacco tin nearby filled with tracer gold. It's her initial mishandling of the scene that spells trouble for her supervisor, Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police, but it's the echoes of a long-ago crime that call the legendary former Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn out of retirement. Years earlier, Leaphorn followed the trail of a beautiful, young, and missing wife to a dead end, and his failure has haunted him ever since. But ghosts never sleep in these high, lonely Southwestern hills. And the twisted threads of craven murders past and current may finally be coming together, thanks to secrets once moaned in torment on the desert wind.

Review: A lost gold mine, a corpse in an abandoned pickup truck, and an eerie wailing heard on Halloween are among the delicious plot elements Tony Hillerman cooks up in his 15th novel featuring Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. The two Navajo cops, one old and one young--who originally debuted in separate series but have been collaborating for many books now--are among the most engaging, fully human characters in crime fiction. As usual, Hillerman puts them to work in a suspenseful, satisfying tale that integrates a wealth of Navajo lore plus breathtaking evocations of the American Southwest, all delivered in prose as clear, clean, and easy-flowing as a mountain stream. Longtime readers will be delighted by several developments, including a prominent role for the appealing Officer Bernadette Manuelito and a glimpse at the phlegmatic Leaphorn's testy side. But Hillerman welcomes new arrivals as well, with enough exposition to get you oriented.

Many writers have tried to follow Hillerman's trail, setting murder mysteries in Native American cultural landscapes. Many do a fine job. But, as The Wailing Wind beautifully demonstrates, there's only one Tony Hillerman. In this book he's at the top of his game. --Nicholas H. Allison

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Title: The Wailing Wind
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