The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman

 

Mystery

The Blessing Way (Joe Leaphorn Novels) The Blessing WayTony Hillerman; HarperTorch 1990WorldCatA Wolf-Witch has appeared on Navajo lands. Luis Horseman has escaped to the wilds of the reservation, hiding from Law and Order. He had been drunk and in a fight with a Mexican. He didn’t want arrested for murder. He sees the man/wolf, who lets him walk away. Later, though, he is found dead.

Lt. Joe Leaphorn of Law and Order is searching for Horseman. He has been hearing the rumors about the Wolf-Witch. He is Navajo and knows the tribal beliefs and spirits. He is certain that this is a man, not a spirit. Yet he doesn’t discount the beliefs, either. Something is going on out in the upper uninhabited areas of Navajo land. He needs to discover what it is before more people are killed or before another Navajo attacks and kills “the spirit.”

Bergen McKee is a friend of Leaphorn’s and a professor studying Navajo spirits and myths. He has been in a depression for the past eight years or so. He finally agrees to return to the excavation areas with a colleague from his University. While investigating the Wolf-Witch sitings, he stumbles across something else. Someone has invaded the Navajo region for unknown purposes. Men are being killed to cover the secret. Can he keep himself and his companion alive before he can get out to inform what he knows to Law and Order?

Hillerman uses this (and subsequent novels) to highlight the Navajo life in Southwestern United States. He gives the uneducated reader a realistic picture of a different lifestyle than “civilized” people live. He pulls the geography of the area into the backdrop, completing the picture. Leaphorn’s assumptions are often based on a a Navajo would react versus how an outsider would act. The mystery twists around on itself, leaving the reader guessing as the story unfolds.

More books by Tony Hillerman
Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

Link to Amazon.com BooksLink to BetterWorld Books

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