Michael's Reviews > The Sinister Pig

The Sinister Pig by Tony Hillerman
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

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bookshelves: fiction, mystery, native-american, new-mexico, arizona
Read in February, 2012

A satisfying mystery for fans of Hillerman�s series on Navaho detectives Leaphorn and Chee, the 16th of 18 with one or both detectives. Alas, there will be no more given Hillerman�s death in 2008. Here Jim Chee becomes intrigued with a case of murder of a well-dressed outsider. In the first pages Hillerman has the reader inhabit the mind of this oil industry problem-solver engaged by a powerful Senator to investigate the siphoning off of production from the numerous wells operated on federal and Indian land. His murder brings Navaho Tribal Detective Jim Chee to focus on what distant powerful forces put this man on his mysterious mission and the origins of the powerful forces that had the man killed. His old partnership with his former boss is revived when he seeks advice on the case from ex-Captain Leaphorn. Eventually they work out a link with discoveries made by Jim�s former employee, Bernie Manuelito, while working in her new job with the Border Patrol. A charming side story is the romance infecting the hearts of Jim and Bernie. The way Hillerman deftly brings the threads together for the ending is masterful as usual. I gave it medium marks because I personally liked the heightened sense of poignancy and kindly humor of his earlier work better (e.g. The Blessing Way, Dance Hall for the Dead, and The Ghostway).

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