The Chama, New Mexico, police are satisfied that jewelry designer Leigh Haring's adventurous older sister Leni, a doctoral student of mind-altering drugs, was strangled by her half-Hopi lover Ben Naya. But Leigh, flying in from Boston, is persuaded by conversations with Ben's half-sister Vera and Ben himself (now hiding in a cave on the nearby reservation) that her death had more to do with a mysterious crystal found on the reservation—and with what she knows about the death of their mother when Leigh was only three. The links between CIA experiments with LSD back in the 50's and superconductors that could revolutionalize contemporary computer technology are slow to emerge in this dense, opaque story, but the weighty sense of individual consequence is well worth the wait. Smaller in scale than Kabul (1986) but just as resonant: an unusually personal approach to Tony Hillerman territory.
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