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Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman

Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman is a mystery novel set in the southwest and is centered around the Navajo Nation. I would be surprised if anyone reading this has not heard of Tony Hillerman, since he is one of the premiere mystery writers of our generation. I have already read about a half dozen of his novels, but have not picked one up in probably almost twenty years. I managed to get a handful of his novels for free a few months back and figured it was time to rotate one of them into my reading.

Genre:  Mystery    

Publisher: Harper Torch

Released:  2004

Stars:  4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths

This novel was a bit different than some of the ones I have read. Hillerman explores multiple points of view, and after a slow interdiction, most of the climax focuses on Bernie, who is a newer character and Jimmy Chee’s fiancé.

The story revolves around several groups converging to try to discover if there is any truth to there being a hidden cache of diamonds down in the lonely parts of Marble Canyon, which is the canyon which stretches between the Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon.

In some respects, this is more of an adventure novel as opposed to a mystery. The detective work is important, but soon it becomes a battle between the hunters and the limited resources they had, which continue to be stretched thin as they move deeper into the canyon and further from any type of modern assistance. The story builds quickly and keeps the readers attention until the thrilling climax which I will not ruin for you.

I love Hillerman books, but this might not be the best of the lot. Still, his B list usually tops most author’s A list. I wish we could have seen more through Chee’s eyes, but maybe that is my problem because it’s what I am used to with his work.

If you like a mystery with a strong dose of action and adventure, this one is for you. Also, of course, the desert southwest is always a fascinating place as is the Navajo culture. Hillerman did it again. What a fun novel.


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Grab my Cyberpunk novel here. Dak has been hired to chase down the Skinjumper clones, he biggest problem, he’s dating one.

sunrise view upriver

2 Responses to “Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman

  1. Amazing landscape. I’ve never read hillerman but I’ll look him up.

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