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The Sinister Pig [Hardcover]

Tony Hillerman
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book by Hillerman, Tony

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad Dec 23 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pipeline pigging has found a new money maker. Not a bad book I expected more about Oil and better development of the characters.

All in all liked the premise and very easy read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I was so disappointed. June 22 2003
I share the sentiments of my fellow reviewers - this was contrived, shallow and a total let-down. It was as if Mr. Hillerman hired out the writing. I am a total fan, and eagerly awaited the book. Now I will eagerly await the next one. I am always an optimist.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Thief of My Time... June 17 2003
It's quite clear that Tony Hillerman has squeezed the last ounce of blood from this turnip. You know he's run out of ideas for his venerable Native American heroes when he's more interested in the villains of the book than the cops.
This book, definitely the worst in the series, is as flat as a pancake from start to finish, with a "mystery" as complex as an Encyclopedia Brown story. Chee and Leaphorn have basically nothing to do in this story except pass on endless, awkward exposition. Side characters slide in and out with no real purpose. The only cop who Hillerman seems to be interested in, the fetching Bernie Manuelito, becomes a helpless pawn in a macho boy's game of drugs and power. Even Hillerman's trademark Ansel Adams-esque descriptions of the southwestern scenery seem minimized and irrelevant. Hillerman can't even figure out how to end it properly, resorting to a horridly uncharacteristic "epilogue" that seems like it was written two hours before deadline.
This series really does have a lot of legs in it, but Hillerman no longer seems to have the energy to keep it moving. Perhaps it's time for someone else to take over with Hillerman serving as consultant. Because it would be a shame for Chee and Leaphorn to continue on the downward spiral that has plagued Hillerman's most recent efforts.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice ... June 13 2003
OK, I thought, "The Wailing Wind" was an aberration, a hiccup in the career of a very good author. But two points define a line, and "The Sinister Pig" plots Mr. Hillerman's career straight down. In the corporate world you sometimes see a luminary from an earlier era who is "RIP" -- retired in place -- just going through the motions, living on past glories and collecting the big bucks for his reputation, not his current work. Sadly, this describes Tony Hillerman, who has decided to stir around a few ashes, thow in a highly predictable conclusion, and call it a novel. I bet he's laughing at his readers all the way to the bank.
As for the book itself, reviewers occasionally describe a film as "OK for a 10-minute sketch on SNL, but not a 90-minute feature." That's Sinister Pig for you: interesting premise but almost no plot or character development (call central casting for all the stereotypes), no suspense (you know from the start who's really a bad guy and who's really not), and the shallowest of literary style (like Wailing Wind, everyone is constantly "grinning" at everyone else). The initial plot device, investigating diversion of Indian royalty payments, is both interesting and topical -- it's really happening -- but couldn't lead to a facile wrap-up in a mere 224 pages, so Mr. Hillerman switches to just another standard contraband tale. Rest assured, the good guys prosper, the bad guys pay, and the bad guys who are really good guys ... well, what do you expect?
I did like the little polemics on stealing of Indian royalties, the vested interest of both narcos and narcs in keeping the "War on Drugs" going full steam, and the pervasiveness of corruption in high office, but they weren't enough to salvage an otherwise trivial work.
If Mr. Hillerman hasn't retired completely, I'll wait until his next book is available in the public domain before reading it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment! June 11 2003
I am a devoted Hillerman fan and have read (and sometimes re-read) all of his books. I anxiously awaited publication of Sinister Pig to feed my Hillerman Jones.
I don't know who wrote this book, but it wasn't Hillerman. It was poorly plotted, with weak character definition and bad dialog.
What's a fan to do?
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4.0 out of 5 stars This little piggy went to market July 23 2006
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Not quite the Hillerman formula but done well just the same. All our old friends are in this story and it looks like everything can get wrapped up if Hillerman decided would be his last. However it looks like there is at least one more novel and probably two. In this novel we get to be into the heads of the good guys and bad guys from the start as they banter around.

An ex-CIA spy with knowledge of the oil industry is sent to find out information on how oil companies bypass paying royalty money to the First Nations Trust Fund. He ends up committing suicide with a bullet in the back. Mean while way down south Bernie now with the U.S. Customs Service gets lost, goes off the map, and puts her foot in it.

Bernie's co-worker gets suspicious and tells Joe. Jim gets out some snaps; Joe gets out his maps; Bourbonette gets out the coffee and brains. They hold a committee to figure out what is happening.

Will Bernie smell what she stepped in, or just walk right in to her demise?

Will the cavalry arrive over the hill in time (does not look promising?)

Who or what is the "Sinister Pig?"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but still superior Oct. 24 2003
The charm of Hillerman's books is the place and the people. The familiar characters are here in a slightly different setting, though I think his books with Jim Chee or Joe Leaphorn are stronger than those with both characters. Hillerman's stories have their own pace, and this one like others moves along leisurely to a fast finish. The plot is clever, and reprises Hillerman's themes of corrupt Easterners and Byzantine law enforcement agencies. It's a good read.
The edition I read, though, was the single worst proof-read book I have ever encountered, beginning with the author's forward. The publisher should have been embarrassed to release it.
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