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The Wailing Wind Mass Market Paperback – Mar 13 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Second Printing edition (March 13 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061098795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061098796
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,306,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Hillerman applies a master’s skill...winding up with a thrilling, chilling conclusion...” -- Rocky Mountain News

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was incredibly excited to see this book was out and started reading right in the middle of the work day. By that evening I was finished. So obviously Mr. Hillerman has lost none of his magic in drawing the reader in and engaging them. Unfortunately, the astute reader will guess the broad outlines of what is going on pretty early in the story. This was unusual for me, but seems increasingly common in Mr. Hillerman's later works. The mystery isn't the focus, the interaction of the characters is. For me this works pretty well, but past Hillerman works had a compelling mystery intertwined with the character interactions. That said, the usual evocation of the desert Southwest's austere beauty is present from the first page. And even a relatively short, obvious Hillerman mystery is better than 90% of what is out there. If you are a Hillerman fan, you will want it and enjoy it (but probably be ever so mildly let down by length and obviousness of the story). If you are not yet a Hillerman fan, I would start with an earlier novel such as A Thief of Time.
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Format: Hardcover
Tony Hillerman is back in form with The Wailing Wind. As with most Hillerman mysteries, this book follows the same formula. First, a crime has occurred on Native American lands due to the exploitation of Native American resources. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn again work together to solve a crime, although they seem to be less adversarial with each book. Both characters have budding romantic interests, although things are still unresolved at the end. Ineffective FBI agents still try to wrestle control of criminal investigations from the Tribal Police. And the Tribal Police still try to do their jobs within the parameters of their Indian (mostly Navajo) beliefs. Hillerman's mysteries are fascinating in that they educate the reader about Native American cultures, lands, life on the reservation, religious beliefs and a host of other topics. However, I would recommend that a reader new to Hillerman skip this book for now, and start with his earliest mysteries which give more background into Native American beliefs and vocabulary. It will also be helpful in that the personal lives of his characters continue to develop in each novel. Still, The Wailing Wind is an entertaining mystery for Hillerman fans and I found it much better than his last effort.
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Format: Hardcover
Somebody at HarperCollins really screwed up: A working draft of Tony Hillerman's latest book was published instead of the finished work. How else to explain the threadbare plot, failure to develop anything engaging about either the characters or their motivations, the lack of any suspense or discernable climax, the lame conclusion, and so many more shortcomings? The writing is not up to anyone's professional standards, much less Hillerman's; it sounds more like a high school creative writing project. Does anyone ever speak without "grinning"? Does an experienced story teller and stylist complete a desciptive sentence with "etc." so frequently? Can't the numerous parenthetical expressions, used in such an amateurish style, be reworked into a more literary and compelling form? Not to mention the numerous continuity flaws: First the Gallup FBI office is on Coal Avenue (p. 170), then on Gold Avenue (p. 174). Leaphorn drives up in his pickup (p. 189), then stops and takes a box out of the "trunk of his own car" (p. 190). Puhleeeeze!
Maybe Hillerman just phoned this one in from the beach somewhere. At a scant 232 pages, it wouldn't have taken long to dictate. Or maybe I should just blame everything on the editors, ... If they'd been paying attention, this draft "The Wailing Wind" never would have seen the light of day. With another six months of work it might have been made into a decent book; as it stands it's not worth buying or reading. ... What a major disappointment.
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Format: Hardcover
The Wailing Wind
Tony Hillerman
ISBN 0-06-019444-8
Tony Hillerman's novels featuring Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo police have familiarized people around the world with the culture of the Navajo and the desert Southwest in which they live. Last year, while browsing in a bookstore in a medieval town in Germany, I came across a German language edition of one of Hillerman's books.
To those whose primary interest in Hillerman's work relates to his use of the Navajo culture in his stories, "The Wailing Wind" does not disappoint. In this book, as an example, one finds that Officer Bernadette Manuelito's adherence to the Navajo belief of avoiding contact with the dead leads her to blunder in an investigation. But she re-establishes her credibility by using information from her uncle, who is a shaman with a unique knowledge of native plants.
It is interesting how Hillerman constructs the characters of Chee and Leaphorn. Both men are effective policemen, but they are very different men. Chee is younger, more impetuous, more error-prone, and less sure of himself. In one passage, Chee pretends to study the menu carefully in the Navajo Inn, to preserve his pride, because in the end he always orders a hamburger. Chee is also more a traditional Navajo than Leaphorn, who has earned a master's degree in Anthropology at Arizona State University. But Chee, who has studied with his uncle to become a chaman in earlier books uses that knowledge here to predict a suspect's likely behavior. Leaphorn is older, retired, more self-confident, steadier, and exhibits the deductive reasoning powers of a Navajo Sherlock Holmes.
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