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Skeleton Man (2004)

af Tony Hillerman

Serier: Jim Chee (14), Leaphorn/Chee (17)

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1,612267,984 (3.59)77
Kriminalroman. Den tidligere politikommisær i Navajo-stammens politikorps afbryder sit otium for at hjælpe en gammel kollega, hvis fætter anklages for røveri.

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Engelsk (24)  Fransk (2)  Alle sprog (26)
Viser 1-5 af 26 (næste | vis alle)
This novel suffered from a descent into a somewhat formulaic Hillerman plot: criminal activity on tribal land, this time set in the Grand Canyon country with the villains being white folk. Interesting twist: Navajo police tracking down why one of their people had a $20,000 diamond in his possession. The beautiful scenery descriptions were evocative as ever, but there was little of the Navajo culture woven into the story. The author's accurate telling of Navajo traditions and the difficulties faced by the people in keeping their traditional ways are one of the main draws for me and that was missing. The mystery was interesting but dragged out too much. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Oct 7, 2018 |
Amazon Description: Former Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn comes out of retirement to help investigate what seems to be a trading post robbery. A simple-minded kid nailed for the crime is the cousin of an old colleague of Sergeant Jim Chee. He needs help and Chee, and his fiancée Bernie Manuelito, decide to provide it.
Proving the kid's innocence requires finding the remains of one of 172 people whose bodies were scattered among the cliffs of the Grand Canyon in an epic airline disaster 50 years in the past. That passenger had handcuffed to his wrist an attaché case filled with a fortune in—one of which seems to have turned up in the robbery.
But with Hillerman, it can't be that simple. The daughter of the long-dead diamond dealer is also seeking his body. So is a most unpleasant fellow willing to kill to make sure she doesn't succeed. These two tense tales collide deep in the canyon at the place where an old man died trying to build a cult reviving reverence for the Hopi guardian of the Underworld. It's a race to the finish in a thunderous monsoon storm to see who will survive, who will be brought to justice, and who will finally unearth the Skeleton Man.

Leaphorn and Chee combine to solve a mystery. Great characters, great story. I love how the threads of Indian legends are woven into the fabric of the story and new characters are added the story such as Bernie and Louisa. The use of a historical event to build the story had me running to my computer to learn more about the past. The bad guys running around with guns made me nervous and on edge, TH really knows how to grab emotions in concern for his characters. Great Read! ( )
  Bettesbooks | Jul 28, 2018 |
SPOILERS

If you aren’t familiar with Tony Hillerman, he’s an Albuquerque newspaper reporter who has been writing a series of mystery novels about the Navajo Tribal Police for 30+ years now. The protagonists of the early novels alternated between Sergeant Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn; in the more recent ones, Leaphorn (now retired and a private investigator) and Chee generally collaborate (although initially seeming to work on unrelated cases).


With my contact with the Navajo limited to driving on I40 and stopping for fry bread, I can’t personally vouch for Hillerman’s authenticity; however, he has won an award from the Navajo (Special Friend of the Dinee) for accurate and sympathetic portrayal of Native American life. He’s also been criticized by notorious pseudoIndian Ward Churchill, which I would assume is something of a badge of honor in itself.


On the minus side, Hillerman’s been accused of being antiscience. Scientists appearing in Hillerman novels are sometimes the villain; if not, they are often portrayed as cold and uncaring “superbrains” (that term is actually used once). Forensic science is always a background process; if Hillerman needs some fingerprints or pollen analysis or whatever to advance the plot, it’s done by sending evidence off to “the lab” and waiting for a written report to come back. Hillerman’s eyewitnesses, on the other hand, are astounding; they can typically remember minute details of events that happened decades earlier. And they’re always accurate.


The first novels in this series are the best in terms of plotting and suspense; with time Hillerman has become increasingly formulaic. The latest, Skeleton Man, (well, the latest I’ve read) continues this trend. The premise is intriguing enough; the collision of two airliners over the Grand Canyon in 1956 results in a missing persons case 60 years later (I’m just barely old enough to remember that crash from TV reports; it was the largest loss of life from any US airline accident up till then and resulted in commercial airliners no longer being able to use VFR flight rules). However, the recent Hillerman pattern quickly emerges: a wealthy Anglo supervillain (described as “a member of the Anglo-Saxon, Nordic ruling class”), greedy and arrogant Anglo subordinate villains, Indian falsely accused of murder, incompetent FBI, even a repeat of the deus ex machina, a flash flood that ended an earlier novel (I’m not going to tell you which one; bad enough that I’m spoiling this one). At least there aren't any evil scientists. The redeeming feature of the recent novels has been the continuing development of the reoccurring characters; series novelists can do something with this that “mainstream” literature can’t (what, I wonder, happened to Oliver Twist as he grew up?). Worth reading if you’re comfortable with Jim Chee’s beat-up trailer or Joe Leaphorn’s coffee; get it from the library unless you're OCD about having them all in a neat row on your bookshelf. ( )
  setnahkt | Dec 19, 2017 |
It is a light read with an imaginative story line. Narrated, as always by George Guidall.Characters were familiar, which makes a good read. Of note, Chee and Bernie are working out the details of their upcoming marriage. Oh and there were a few bad(der) guys who kept getting in the way, but in the end got their comeuppance. ( )
  buffalogr | Nov 4, 2017 |
I listened to the recorded version of this novel. It was read by George Guidall, who is a rock star in the world of recorded books. Earlier this month I listened to him read The Highwayman by Craig Johnson and hated the way he talked. HATED IT. To my surprise I liked this narration and thought that Guidall did a very good job on the reading. He did not sound like an old man with a mouth full of chew. This one was recorded in 2004 and the Longmire book was in 2016. 12 years makes a difference. I would recommend the recorded version of this novel as it is highly interesting and a well done narration.

In this novel, Joe Leaphorn takes a back seat to Jim Chee and Bernie Manuelito. Leaphorn makes just enough of an appearance to add color and background to the story. Bernie and Jim get a chance to shine and the story of them working out how their marriage is going to work comes to the fore. There is a good mystery plot and great character development in it. This was a pleasure to listen to. I will be sorry to see this series end with the next novel. ( )
  benitastrnad | Oct 18, 2017 |
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Kriminalroman. Den tidligere politikommisær i Navajo-stammens politikorps afbryder sit otium for at hjælpe en gammel kollega, hvis fætter anklages for røveri.

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