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The First Eagle: 06/24/13

cover art

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman is the thirteenth of the Navajo Mystery series. Jim Chee is facing a mountain of overdue paperwork. At least he has an open and shut case with the beating death of a fellow Navajo police officer, having corned a Hopi poacher over the battered body. Except, Joe Leaphorn's work to find a missing plague biologist has led him to believe the beating death is anything but simple.

When trying to learn anything about an area, the most effective way is to ask the people who live there. Of course the information might get mixed up in local gossip and legend. And others might not want to share — especially if religious ceremonies are involved. This case involves both — the sighting of a skinwalker and Hopi kiva ceremonies.

For accused man, protecting the secrets of his kiva comes before his own freedom. Chee can't take his usual, careful time with the case as the Federal Government has gotten involved, deciding to make an example of this case. This brings in Chee's ex-girl friend to add to the mix.

The exploration of the differences and similarities between Hopi and Diné culture introduced here are re-explored in the penultimate book, Skeleton Man (review coming).

I listened to the audio performed by George Guidall.

Five stars

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