A daughter takes on her famous father’s legacy in resuming a series focused on Navajo culture.
Bernadette Manuelito is at the helm of a mystery that involves all of Shiprock’s Navajo Tribal Police force when one of her longtime colleagues is gunned down after a breakfast with co-workers. Bernie is on hand when a hooded figure shoots her colleague, Lt. Joe Leaphorn, and she’ll do anything it takes to find his assailant while his life hangs in the balance. Unfortunately, as witness to the crime, Bernie is forced to take a back seat in the case. Luckily, her husband, Sgt Jim Chee, is leading the inquiry, so she’s still a party to insider information. In the time she has open from investigating, Bernie connects with the American Indian Resource Center, trying to finish a job Joe had contracted to help with. The AIRC houses an unbelievable collection of Indian art and artifacts, and Bernie soon finds herself drawn not only to the beauty of what she sees, but also to the connections of the staff to Jim’s and Joe's pasts. At the same time, she’s forced to shift some attention to her little sister Darleen’s care of their mother when it becomes apparent that Darleen’s drinking is affecting her caretaking abilities.
With big shoes to fill, Hillerman does her best to copy the style of her father Tony’s beloved series (The Shape Shifter, 2006, etc.), maintaining the integrity of Navajo culture throughout. Fans will spot the guilty party a mile off.