In the previous Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn mystery, I sensed series fatigue and thought I would let go, but there was HUNTING BADGER and I thought well, one more time for old times' sake. Unfortunately, except for a strong portrayal of Chee and witty commentary on the FBI, this is tired. Female characters were never Hillerman's strong suit, but here they are mere shadows. There is no clear idea of just who the bad guys are, their characters and motives, though one is obvious almost from the beginning. Leaphorn does express chagrin that he did not see it coming and well he should. Perhaps it was intentional on Hillerman's behalf to build up the idea of Ironman, to comment on the power of legend in contemporary reality, but just letting that story line drop seems like a hurried rush to make deadline. There was another moment, an accident with gender pronouns, a his where there should have clearly been a her, that is yet more evidence of the sad lack of genuine editing skill in the publishing industry today. That said, this book does have Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn and the remarkable landscape they inhabit, as well as Hillerman's swift, direct sentences. If someone has not previously read a book in this series, I highly recommend beginning with A THIEF OF TIME or TALKING GOD, to get a sense of its true power.