SACRED CLOWNS by Tony Hillerman


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Navajo Detective Jim Chee, working now for Lt. Joe Leaphorn's two-man Special Investigations Office, has followed Delmar Kanitewa, a runaway student who may know something about the murder of shop- teacher Eric Dorsey, to the Tano Pueblo for a ceremony of koshares, sacred clowns, only to see it interrupted by a second murder. The boy, who's exonerated by Chee's own eyes, has vanished again, leaving the mystery of how the two murders are connected--and (since this is one of Hillerman's most intricately plotted stories) of just how to interpret the eventual linkup: a copy of the Lincoln Cane, a century- old tribal gift, that Dorsey had made. There's also time for the reopening of an unsolved hit-and-run and for accusations that Horse Mesa Councilman Jimmy Chester is taking bribes to legalize a toxic- waste dump inside a reservation mine. The byplay between prickly Leaphorn and spiritual Chee; Chee's sobering reflections on Navajo and white people's justice; problem- strewn new romantic intrigues for both heroes--all of these make this not only a masterful novel in its own right, but an object lesson in how to develop an outstanding series.
Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0061808369
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993


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