For acting Lieutenant Jim Chee, the murder of a Navajo Tribal Police officer seems like an open-and-shut case when he discovers a Hopi poacher huddled over the victim's butchered corpse. However, Chee's newly retired predecessor, Joe Leaphorn, believes otherwise.
Hired to find a missing biologist who was searching for the key to a virulent hidden plague and who vanished in the same area and on the same day the policeman was slain Leaphorn suspects both events are somehow connected. And the reported sighting of a "skinwalker" a Navajo witch has Leaphorn and Chee seeking answers to a deadly riddle in a dark place where superstition and science collide.
-Dallas Morning News
“Hillerman’s trademark melding of Navajo tradition and modern culture is captured with crystal clarity in this tale of an ancient scourge’s resurgence in today’s world. The uneasy mix of old ways and new is articulated with resonant depth....”
“Tony Hillerman is a wonderful storyteller...Surrendering to Hillerman’s strong narrative voice and supple storytelling techniques, we come to see that ancient cultures and modern sciences are simply different mythologies for the same reality.”
-New York Times Book Review
“The modern resurgence of the black death animates Hillerman’s 14th tale featuring retired widower Navajo Tribal Police Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Acting Lt. Jim Chee... Hillerman”