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"By using his knowledge of the Native American Tribes in the Four
Corners area and a little influence from Australian writer Aurthur
Upfield’s mysteries, Hillerman introduced the world to Navajo tribal
officer, Joe Leaphorn. The series opened up the west as a setting for
crime and murder, giving big cities a run for their money; and it paved
the way for other Native American mysteries by the likes of Margret Coel
and C.M. Wendelboe. Even more important, it introduced the idea of the
mystery anthropology sub-genre where the “whodunit” story investigates a
culture as much as the crime."
Homicide is always an abomination, but there is something exceptionally disturbing about the victim discovered in a high lonely place, a corpse with a mouth full of sand, abandoned at a crime scene seemingly devoid of tracks or useful clues. Though it goes against his better judgment, Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn cannot help but suspect the hand of a supernatural killer. There is palpable evil in the air, and Leaphorn's pursuit of a Wolf-Witch is leading him where even the bravest men fear, on a chilling trail that winds perilously between mysticism and murder.