walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Sacred Clowns_, Tony Hillerman

I've read several Hillerman novels (the first being _Falling Man_ or something like that, that I listened to on audio). I like Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. I like the slow prose and the careful development of an intricate set of relationships that aren't so much as a puzzle as an inexorable road to a Bad Place involving dead bodies (usually bodies -- few of the ones I've read have only one body).

In this outing, there's a dead white teacher, a missing Indian student (from a different school), a dead Indian. And, unrelated (apparently and in reality), a vehicular homicide. There are on-air confessions. And eventually, another dead white man. Leaphorn is planning a trip to China with Bourbonnette, which gets derailed by the antics (which included his suspension!). Chee is agonizing over whether he can date Janet Pete or whether that risks incest because no one knows her full clan background. Someone's trying to turn an abandoned mine into a landfill location for who knows what. And Chee discovers he's considered a semi-heretic for his attempts to adapt ritual/ceremonial to current culture on and off the reservation.

So. Lots of fun. It's particularly enjoyable because Leaphorn and Chee both have relationships that are headed in positive directions (not true in some of the other entries).

It would probably have been better if I'd read these in order. You might try to do that, if you decide you like Hillerman, but it isn't, strictly speaking, necessary.
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