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Summary

New York Times best-selling author Anne Hillerman brings together modern mystery, Navajo traditions, and the evocative landscape of the desert Southwest in this intriguing entry in the Leaphorn, Chee, and Manuelito series.

When tribal police officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives to speak at an outdoor character-building program for at-risk teens, she discovers chaos. Annie, a young participant on a solo experience due back hours before, has just returned and is traumatized. Gently questioning the girl, Bernie learns that Annie stumbled upon a human skeleton on her trek. While everyone is relieved that Annie is back, they're concerned about a beloved instructor who went out into the wilds of the rugged lava wilderness bordering Ramah Navajo Reservation to find the missing girl. The instructor vanished somewhere in the volcanic landscape known as El Malpais. In Navajo lore, the lava caves and tubes are believed to be the solidified blood of a terrible monster killed by superhuman twin warriors.

Solving the twin mysteries will expose Bernie to the chilling face of human evil. The instructor's disappearance mirrors a long-ago search that may be connected to a case in which the legendary Joe Leaphorn played a crucial role. But before Bernie can find the truth, an unexpected blizzard, a suspicious accidental drowning, and the arrival of a new FBI agent complicate the investigation.

While Bernie searches for answers in her case, her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, juggles trouble closer to home. A vengeful man he sent to prison for domestic violence is back - and involved with Bernie's sister, Darleen. Their relationship creates a dilemma that puts Chee in uncomfortable emotional territory that challenges him as family man, a police officer, and a onetime medicine man in training.

Anne Hillerman takes us deep into the heart of the deserts, mountains, and forests of New Mexico and once again explores the lore and rituals of Navajo culture in this gripping entry in her atmospheric crime series.

©2018 Anne Hillerman (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • 17-06-18

A Fun Trip to the Southwest

I was a big fan of Tony Hillerman’s books. When his daughter Anne, started writing, I began following her. She has big shoes to fill as Tony was a master storyteller. Anne has improved with each book which makes it fun to watch a writer grow. In this book Jim Chee is in Santa Fe at a training conference. Bernie Manuelito covers for a fellow officer to give a talk to a group of children on a camping trip. One of their leaders goes missing and Bernie is in for lots of work, danger and solving a mystery.

Hillerman does a great job in describing the scenery and Navaho customs and spiritual beliefs. To me, this makes the story much more enjoyable. The book is well written and the plot twists and weaves about. The suspense builds but there is also some humor tossed into the story. I cannot wait for the next book.

The book is a little over ten hours. Christina Delaine does an excellent job narrating the story. Delaine is an actress. She has won multiple Earphone Awards for her audiobook narrations.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mouselicious
  • 30-05-18

Delighted and Greatfull this series is thriving!

All I can say is AWESOME job, Anne! You kept the magic alive & thriving! Great storyline, educates, entertains and entrances. lovely epilogue to tie up the loose ends except why Mayfair put the datura in the cookies? I'm ready for the next in series!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandy McMahon
  • 17-05-18

Another Wonderful Hillerman Novel!

Anne Hillerman continues her father’s superb Manuelito, Chee and Leaphorn series of Navajo police mysteries. Taking the feminine perspective of Bernadette Manuelito, she adds extra personality and richness to her father’s stories. Highly respectful of Navajo culture and perspective, this book, like its predecessors, is a joy to experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mouse
  • 20-04-18

Little man

This is a great book to listen to the speaker acts out each voice and really adds to the plot
The story is filled with different characters and plots for each solving The Who done it was challenging
This book is a fantastic addition to the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Connie
  • 02-11-18

Southwestern accents needed

The narrator does a good job of using different voices for each character, however the accents are not authentic to the area. It would be better to have natural speech for the location.

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  • Ellwood T. Bear
  • 30-10-18

Great Book

She writes just like her father did. That is about all I can say about her book.

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  • lfleming
  • 26-10-18

Irritating...

The narrator's overly dramatic reading and poor attempt to sound like the characters distracted from the story so much that I finished the book by reading it. I have read all the books in this series starting back with Tony Hillerman and really enjoy the detail and learning about the history of the area. I listen to books while I walk or drive a lot and I will choose other narrators in the future.

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  • Mlyndaoz
  • 14-10-18

Eager to reach the end

I enjoyed it and in fact have listened to it three times. The author kept you in suspense. gives hints of connections as to who did it but makes waves the story to get you eager to know who did what and to see if you guessed right. the second listens is just as enjoyable but now you are seeing the hints. as you question what is happening you are understanding the connections. I recommend this highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next one.

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  • Nathan
  • 17-09-18

Great story, reading pretty good

The story is fantastic. Continues the quality of her past writing. The reading is only annoying in that she gets some pronunciation correct and some just wrong. I would rather hear it all pronounced in an white American accent, or correct pronunciation throughout. Mostly attempts at Spanish words or names, the Dine is mostly pretty good.

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  • Benito M. Arellano
  • 09-08-18

Great pace and beautifully visualized.

The story line is convincing and realistic. The plot is certainly plausible and the family relationships and life circumstances are well conceived.