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People Of Darkness [Mass Market Paperback]

Hillerman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 29 1990 Jim Chee Novels

Who would murder a dying man? Why would someone steal a box of rocks? And why would a rich man's wife pay $3,000 to get them back? These questions haunt Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police as he journeys into the scorching Southwest. But there, out in the Bad Country, a lone assassin waits for Chee to come seeking answers, waits ready and willing to protect a vision of death that for thirty years has been fed by greed and washed in blood.


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Review

"Great suspense." -- -- Chicago Tribune

"He makes the desert come, alive." -- -- Denver Post

"Hillerman . . . is in a class by himself." -- -- Los Angeles Times

"Hillerman deserves to be included in any list of the best living mystery writers." -- -- Dallas Morning News

"Hillerman gets better with every book." -- -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Hillerman is an expert puzzle-maker." -- -- The Atlantic

"Hillerman's mysteries are unique in American crime fiction." -- -- Los Angeles Times

"The only mysteries I read are Hillerman's." -- -- Ursula K. Le Guin

"This series of Southwestern mysteries from Tony Hillerman is superb." -- -- Daily News

"Whatever your pleasure, you can't go wrong with this gifted, skillful and . . . unique writer." -- -- San Diego Union

About the Author

Tony Hillerman is a former president of the Mystery Writers of America and has received its Edgar® and Grand Master awards. His other honors include the LA Times Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, the Center for the American Indian’s Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe’s Special Friend Award. He lives with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "The mole, his hunting place is darkness." May 17 2004
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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"The mole, his hunting song is silence."
Sgt Jim Chee of the Navaho tribal police is asked by the wife of Benjamin J. Vines to retrieve a mysterious box stolen from her husband's safe while he was away. When mister vines returns he tells Chee that it was all a mistake and hands Chee a check. We all know Chee can not let this lay still so the mystery leads him to people that use a mole for their talisman "The people of Darkness" and it appears that something (or someone) is killing them all off.
The mystery is fair and Tony Hillerman does not hide clues or surprise suspects to the last minute so it is not too hard to guess most of the plot or who the good guys and bad guys are. We are introduced to the Navaho concept of witches and Mary Landon who will play parts (if she survives) in future novels. In the process we get a vivid description of the four corners and other areas near buy. In People of darkness he picks up a Lota Burger and I have eaten a few of them my self. In future books we will be introduced to the Navaho Taco. For the anthropologist in us he describes many sings and ways.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Navaho Policeman Jim Chee Nov. 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the fourth book in Tony Hillerman's masterpiece "Navajo Detectives" series and one of the best of the whole series. In the first three books Lt. Joe Leaphorn is the main character. "People of Darkness" introduces Sgt. Jim Chee, a younger and more complex man who is torn between the white man's world - and a career in the FBI - and the Navajo way as a "singer" or shaman. Also introduced in this book is an appealing, peaches-and-cream Wisconsin girl, Mary Landon, as a mild love interest for Chee.
A bomb goes off in a hospital parking lot, apparently aimed at killing a man who is already dying of cancer, a box containing little of apparent value disappears from a rich man's house, and an oil well explosion thirty years back has some connection to these events. This is vintage Hillerman: a story than ranges over vast areas of time and space. The villain in "People of Darkness" is one of Hillerman's best: a cold professional with the vulnerability of a battered child.
Hillerman's strengths are authenticity and atmosphere. Elements of Navajo culture, religion, and folkways are woven into the fabric of his novels. His landscapes are harsh and spectacular. Nature is magnificent, but also menacing. In this exotic setting, the supernatural seems almost possible and little chilly fingers tickle your spine. If you are an urbanite, you may not like Hillerman; but if you are drawn to big, blank spots on the map you will likely love him. Not the least of his accomplishments is that he has probably taught more people about the Navajo -- and generated more interest in Navajo culture -- than any other writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hillerman's best June 14 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The title refers to the members of an underground Native American Church peyote cult whose totem is the mole, "the predator of the nadir." The mystery involves the attempted murder of a dying man, the disappearance of his corpse from the hospital morgue, a uranium mine, a fatal oil-well explosion 30 years earlier, and the theft of a keepsake box filled mostly with black rocks. This novel has the distinction of featuring the scariest, most chilling villain of the series: an emotionless, psychopathic, methodical killer for hire who leaves nothing to chance. The suspense builds as the point of view alternates between the killer's and Navajo policeman Jim Chee's. "People of Darkness" is one of the best in a literate and very entertaining Southwestern series. For other well-written American Indian-related mysteries, try James D. Doss' Shaman series and Margaret Coel's Arapaho series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites Oct. 6 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To me, this is is Hillerman's second-best mystery (after "Dance Hall of the Dead"). Introducing a new detective seems to have sparked his creativity, and his cast of characters is one of the best he ever created (although he seems to have recycled some of them in later books). His hired killer is a psycho but still sympathetic, the fragile blond schoolteacher is tougher than she looks, and even the minor characters (such as the lab technician in the first scene) are well done. Jim Chee is a complex, interesting personality from the very beginning. As usual, the various settings in which the story takes place are vividly described. And "how he done it" involves, in my opinion, one of the cleverest murder weapons in the history of the detective novel. This is a winner all the way through.
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