Monday, June 2, 2014

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman, A Review

What is a skinwalker?

In some Native American legends, a skinwalker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. Most often seen as coyote, wolf, fox, eagle, owl or crow, the skinwalker is said to base the form chosen on the specific abilities needed.


Officer Jim Chee's trailer is shot three times, but misses Jim. Who is trying to kill him? Everyone, including Jim, is at a loss to explain who would want him dead. The stray cat he allowed to live under the juniper bush had warned him minutes before the shots rang out.

Three recent murders with confusing clues sit in the top file on Leaphorn's desk. Are they related? No one wants to answer questions, yet they want to discuss the connections between the dead and the living. Lieutenant Leaphorn tells Jim to start questioning the locals for leads that might turn up. Bone beads were found in two places, insidious clues pointing to witchery.

Lured to a remote area of the Navajo land, Officer Jim Chee is alone when he begins to see the connection between some of the elements of the murder. His understanding improves after being nailed by the same shotgun. . .

A NY Times Bestseller, Skinwalkers has been reprinted several times, the last reprint in 2011. Hillerman also wrote Shapeshifters. I recommend both titles if you like suspense. These are modern stories of the southwest with an element of the past.


Have you read any of Tony Hillerman's work? Are you familiar with Navajo or southwestern legends?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.


References - Skinwalking:

Skinwalkers can be called shapeshifters, another term that describes the ability to assume other forms, generally for dark purposes. Skin-walker wiki Skinwalkers