When Acting Lt. Jim Chee catches a Hopi poacher huddled over a butchered Navajo Tribal police officer, he has an open-and-shut case--until his former boss, Joe Leaphorn, blows it wide open. Now retired from the Navajo Tribal Police, Leaphorn has been hired to find a hot-headed female biologist hunting for the key to a virulent plague lurking in the Southwest. The scientist disappeared from the same area the same day the Navajo cop was murdered. Is she a suspect or another victim? And what about a report that a skinwalker--a Navajo witch--was seen at the same time and place too? For Leaphorn and Chee, the answers lie buried in a complicated knot of superstition and science, in a place where the worlds of native peoples and outside forces converge and collide.
“Tony Hillerman is a wonderful storyteller...Surrendering to Hillerman’s strong narrative voice and supple storytelling techniques, we come to see that ancient cultures and modern sciences are simply different mythologies for the same reality.”
-New York Times Book Review
“Hillerman’s trademark melding of Navajo tradition and modern culture is captured with crystal clarity in this tale of an ancient scourge’s resurgence in today’s world. The uneasy mix of old ways and new is articulated with resonant depth....”
“The modern resurgence of the black death animates Hillerman’s 14th tale featuring retired widower Navajo Tribal Police Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Acting Lt. Jim Chee... Hillerman”
-Dallas Morning News