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The Ghostway

(Leaphorn & Chee #6)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  9,113 ratings  ·  231 reviews
New York Times Bestseller

The New York Times bestselling novel by master writer Tony Hillerman—an electrifying thriller of revenge, secrets, and murder.

“One of the best of the series.”—New York Times Book Review

Old Joseph Joe sees it all. Two strangers spill blood at the Shiprock Wash-O-Mat. One dies. The other drives off into the dry lands of the Big Reservation, but n
Paperback, 301 pages
Published February 4th 1992 by HarperTorch (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  9,113 ratings  ·  231 reviews

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Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it
A little too modern for me. Involves a trip to Los Angeles and a shantytown development. Needless and uncharacteristic time is spent on antagonist development, including a horrific scene where he breaks into a mansion and leaves a macabre scene behind. I missed the Hillerman gentleness of earlier mysteries; the focus on our protagonists and the development of their lives, the sharing of different southwest Native American cultures, the drawing of the southwest landscape.

Many, many thanks to Fred
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
Chee strolled along the fence, looking at the five who lined the porch. This was a side of white culture he'd never seen before. He'd read about it, but it had seemed too unreal to make an impression - this business of penning up the old. The fence was about 6 feet high, with the topmost foot tilted inward. Hard for an old woman to climb that, Chee thought. Impossible if she was tied in a wheelchair. Los Angeles seemed safe from these particular old people.

Another fun, quick read from Hillerman
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
I can't seem to concentrate on reading right now so I am zipping through audiobooks.

This is a Jim Chee story & a good one, although I prefer them set entirely in New Mexico/Arizona. This one has a lot of the action & bad guy characters in Los Angeles. Although Jim Chee even noticed the Los Angeles landscape, although, of course, it couldn't compare with his Navajo scenery. I liked how Chee memorizes landscape and goes back in his mental bank of beauty to refresh his soul. Navajo culture seems
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book, published in 1984, takes readers into Navajo country where Hosteen Joseph Joe, an elderly Navajo man, sees Albert Gorman, a Navajo who lives in Los Angeles, shoot a man in the Wash-O-Mat and then drive away although he also was seriously wounded. Jim Chee, an officer with the Navajo Tribal Police, is asked by the FBI to help find Gorman. Before this case is solved Jim Chee will travel to Los Angeles and, as usual, find himself torn between the traditional culture of the Navajo people ...more
I wasn't all that thrilled with certain parts. I didn't like the way animals were treated in this one. I guess the mystery made sense. I am not sure I followed all the logic in his final conclusions. I also question that a teen could act so decisively and successfully, against a seasoned killer, although I do see how easy it would be for that killer to disregard a teen. But twice? For such a professional, that seems unlikely. I was also impatient with how much time was spent on Chee's agonizing ...more
Morris Graham
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hosteen (elder) Joeseph Tso is finishing his laundry at a landramat in Shiprock, when a stranger asks him to look at a picture of a man and wants to know if he's seen him. He hasn't. Another car drives up, and the man asking the question guns the second man down. SGT Jim Chee follows the trail of the first car to the hogan of Ashie Begay, and finds the man presumed to be Leroy Gorman, buried, almost in Navajo tradition, but not quite. His training as a Navajo holy man spots the errors in the bur ...more
Kilian Metcalf
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill Donhiser
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another fine novel by Tony Hillerman. I just enjoy his descriptions of the four corners area. This time Chee is investigating the murder(s) of Navajo's who were relocated from the reservation to Los Angeles and return to Navajo country. A Car theft ring and witness protection play into the plot. It is a fun and fast moving mystery. ...more
Heath Lowrance
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm really glad I gave Hillerman another shot, because I really enjoyed this one. The mystery was solid, just complex enough to keep the brain synapses crackling but not so much that the thread was lost. Lots of good Navajo lore, weaved into the story in a really tight way.

Starts with an altercation in the parking lot of a laundromat in Shiprock that leaves one man dead and another wounded, on the run. Tribal Policeman Jim Chee initially teams with the Feds to find the missing man, but when the
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Another excellent yarn from Tony Hillerman. "The Ghostway" features Jim Chee on the case looking for a lost granddaughter, and a witness who is in the witness protection program. Things start off with a bang with a shooting outside of a laundry mat. With one man down and another hit, the investigation is on. Chee to his chagrin ends up having to go to Los Angeles to track the girl. Shortly there Chee ends up in the hospital with a concussion thanks to one of the gangsters in Los Angeles. It's in ...more
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am slowly working my way through Hillerman's books. The Ghostway has Jim Chee looking to find out who killed Albert Gorman, what happened to his brother, and dealing with a runaway girl from a private school. Somehow they all seemed tied together but Chee is struggling with how, or why.

I wasn't all that sure about Chee when he was first introduced, mostly because he was so conflicted about his place in the universe - should he stay on the Navajo reservation or should he take a job in the white
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Gripping, plus you receive a lesson on Navajo Indian culture. Tony Hillerman has a brilliant a way of incorporating very ordinary things into a suspenseful story- - it makes you think any of the characters might be you!
Michael Norwitz
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another Hillerman novel starring the police detective Jim Chee. I enjoyed it more than the earlier one, with its more convoluted mystery (although I wonder about how credible the final twist is) and its details about Navajo culture. Chee faces something of a career and cultural crisis in this episode as well. The only lacking element is a portrayal of the least engaging romantic relationship depicted in a mystery series ever; Chee's girlfriend literally only appears in his thoughts of her, and o ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not sure if it's just me, but I felt like this book was a bit disjointed. It took me a couple of pages to realize Chee had left the Shiprock area and had gone to LA. I felt like I was missing some detail. The conclusion did wrap up everything and answer my questions, but I still felt like the story-line was a bit choppy. ...more
Mark Hartzer
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another Jim Chee novel. No Leaphorn.

I thought the villain was somewhat cartoonish and not well drawn. Otherwise, crisp narrative. Not one of Hillerman's stronger efforts. 3.5 stars.
At the time I'm writing this, Amazon has somehow managed to link the reviews of Tony Hillerman's "The Ghostway" with the reviews of his "Sacred Clowns" (each product page shows the reviews of both). So, just to make sure, this review is about "The Ghostway" (the 6th in his "Leaphorn & Chee" novels and the 3rd (and final?) purely Jim Chee novel). I'm not as happy with this book as I have been with the earlier books. First, much of the story takes place in Los Angeles. Second, and not to put to fi ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in crime, murder mysteries, Native American culture
In high school I was basically obsessed with Tony Hillerman books. Not really sure why, but I was. I tried to read all of his books in my school's library. The only thing I didn't like what I couldn't really figure out the order of the books, and so I read them out of order.
These books are great. They are from a point of view from a cop who is caught between two words: Navajo and white. He treads back and forth between those lines, trying to find a balance while solving murders.
Tony Hillerman
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
This is my fourth book that I have read by T Hillerman; I it good but felt the portion of the white man violent actions did not added to the story and were unnecessary.
Jim Chee again featured. He is again up against the Federal government. He must located a Navajo to solve a case of a shooting which is a federal case. He finds the grandfather and his hogan is now a death one. Jim knows that Godin Joe Begay would not leave his hogan unless something was wrong. A Navajo girl is missing after recei
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman.

This is a mystery among the Navajo people with Sergeant Jim Chee , their lawman. There's a shootout at the Shiprock Wash-O-Mat. Old Joseph Joe is shown a picture of a man by the victim before he dies. That's the only lead Jim Chee has to begin his search into the who did it and why.

This was my first Tony Hillerman book and I didn't know what to expect. I listened to it on CD narrated by George Guidell who did another terrific job of bringing life to the characters.
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#6 in the Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee "Navajo" mysteries, although this one featured just Jim Chee. Read by George Guidall, my favorite reader, so it was a delight to listen to. Chee begins to investigate a shooting death, mostly on his own since the FBI is involved and has warned the Navajo Tribal cops off. Lucky for him, he finds that the shooting is related to the disappearance of a Navajo girl that he's already been investigating. Excellent as always. ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young Navajo girl is contaminated by an angry ghost spirit by entering a Hogan where a man has died. The mystery revolves around who this man is, why he died and who killed him. Detective Chee goes all the way to gray L.A. to get answers to these questions. Navajo families were separated from one another by whites wanting to destroy their culture. Some of them ended up in broken down neighborhoods in Los Angeles. They are out of balance not fitting in either culture. The elders on the Navajo ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Officer Jim Chee is caught in the no man's land of overlapping law jurisdictions. The DEA has jurisdiction over part of the case. The FBI is investigating the murder. Chee is looking for a missing girl who is somehow involved with the case as a whole. Except no one is talking to any one else. And Chee has been warned not to step on any federal toes.
Margaret went missing from a boarding school after receiving a letter from her grandfather who has disappeared. Two men had shot each other, one fata
Randall Reese
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A pretty standard Tony Hillerman book. I never felt that the plot dragged at any point. The storyline was believable. At least if you take out the part where the 16-year-old girl gets the jump on a professional thug TWICE. (And true to form, Jim Chee misplaces his gun and does not end up firing it at any point). This one reoccurring item of Jim Chee's inability to use a firearm aside, I felt this book was decently interesting and a good straight read. ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book rambled itself from all over to no where with me. Very repetitious in asking the same questions over and over and re-stating facts. I am not understanding why Mary Landon was in the first Chee book and then not in the second and pops up again in the third and we know nothing about the love story. It was like huh?????? The Leaphorn and Chee series are going to have to be better in the next book for me to continue reading the books.
Dan Smith
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Old Joseph Joe sees it all. Two strangers spill blood at the Shiprock Wash-O-Mat. One dies. The other drives off into the dry lands of the Big Reservation, but not before he shows the old Navajo a photo of the man he seeks.

This is all Tribal Policeman Jim Chee needs to set him off on an odyssey that moves from a trapped ghost in an Indian hogan to the seedy underbelly of L.A. to an ancient healing ceremony where death is the cure, and into the dark heart of murder and revenge
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without Leaphorn or the woman deputy Chee falls in love with, the novel is sort of boring.
Kevin Goodrich
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting book with a real twist at the end. Just what mystery should be except I sometimes get tired of having to have the author suddenly explain how it all comes together.

The gold in this one is looking at the difference between being a Navajo or white man and the difficulty someone would have deciding which way to go. That and the sorrow of ways of life being forgotten and buried.

Urbandale Library
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another outstanding mystery in the beautiful Land of the Navajo and told with admiration and respect of the Navajo way of living in harmony.--UPL Library Patron
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not an action packed thriller but actually a Navajo policeman's pursuit of his destiny ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
normally I don't read a series in order. I've made a point to read this one as it was meant to be read, which has been a good choice, because there's a thread of character development/longer character arcs that I get to follow. in the background of this story, Chee is considering whether he will leave his position and his family/kin/culture in order to get married. that adds an element of melancholy to a fairly complicated murder mystery, which includes some gang-type car theft, hitmen, the witn ...more
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Tony Hillerman, who was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, was a decorated combat veteran from World War II, serving as a mortarman in the 103rd Infantry Division and earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. Later, he worked as a journalist from 1948 to 1962. Then he earned a Masters degree and taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, wh ...more

Other books in the series

Leaphorn & Chee (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Blessing Way (Leaphorn & Chee, #1)
  • Dance Hall of the Dead (Leaphorn & Chee, #2)
  • Listening Woman (Leaphorn & Chee, #3)
  • People of Darkness (Leaphorn & Chee, #4)
  • The Dark Wind (Leaphorn & Chee, #5)
  • Skinwalkers (Leaphorn & Chee, #7)
  • A Thief of Time (Leaphorn & Chee, #8)
  • Talking God (Leaphorn & Chee, #9)
  • Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee #10)
  • Sacred Clowns (Navajo Mysteries, #11)

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