Hunting Badger (A Leaphorn and Chee Novel)

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9780060192891: Hunting Badger (A Leaphorn and Chee Novel)

Navajo crimebusters Leaphom and Chee are back together on a case, and at odds with the FBI over a backcountry manhunt in this latest thrilling addition to Tony Hillerman's best-selling series.

In 1998 three heavily armed "survivalists" came out of the Four Corners canyons in a stolen truck. They murdered a policeman, had a shootout with pursuers, and then vanished -- eluding a manhunt that eventually involved hundreds of officers from more than twenty federal and state agencies. The crime and the bungled FBI investigation left behind a web of mysteries: Why did one of the bandits kill himself? How did the others escape? Why has no one in this impoverished area claimed the huge reward the government still offers? Most puzzling of all, what crime were they en route to commit when Officer Dale Claxton stopped them -- and paid for his bravery with his life?

Tony Hillerman assigns these real puzzles to his fictional Navajo Tribal Police officers -- Sergeant Jim Chee and retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn. The time is now, and the memory of the mishandled manhunt of 1998 is still painfully fresh. Three men stage a predawn raid on the Ute tribe's gambling casino. They kill one policeman, wound another, and disappear in the maze of canyons on the Utah-Arizona border. The FBI takes over the investigation, and agents swarm in with their helicopters, their high-tech equipment, and a theory of the crime that makes a wounded deputy sheriff a suspect. This development calls Chee in from his vacation, and a request for a favor draws in Leaphorn. Chee finds a fatal flaw in the federal theory, and Leaphorn sees an intriguing pattern connecting this crime with the exploits of a legendary Ute hero-bandit.

Tightly plotted and beautifully written, Hunting Badger proves once again that Tony Hillerman is a master storyteller.

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Review:

The marvelous Hunting Badger is Tony Hillerman's 14th novel featuring Navajo tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Here the two cops (who appeared in separate books early on but whose paths now cross routinely) are working two angles of the same case to catch the right-wing militiamen who pulled off a violent heist at an Indian casino. Hillerman serves up plenty of action and enough plot twists to keep readers off balance, leading up to a satisfyingly tense climax in which Leaphorn and Chee stalk a killer in his hideout. But through it all, the cardinal Hillerman virtues are in evidence: economical, pellucid prose; a panoply of Indian-country characters who seem to rise right up off the page; vivid evocations of the Southwest's bleak beauty; and rich insights into Navajo life and culture. (Hillerman once told an interviewer that the highest compliment he'd ever received was many Navajo readers' assumption that he himself is Navajo--he's not.)

While first-time readers will find plenty to enjoy in Hunting Badger, it holds special pleasures for longtime fans. There's more and deeper contact between Leaphorn and Chee, and we continue to see further into the prickly Leaphorn's human side (though without fuss or sentimentality). Chee finally begins to get over Janet Pete (it took about six books) and inch toward a new love interest. And in a moving section involving Chee's spiritual teacher Frank Sam Nakai, the shaman provides a key insight into the case.

In a world teeming with "sense of place" mysteries--set in Seattle, Alaska, the Arizona desert, or Chicago--it can be a shock to return to Hillerman, who started it all, and realize just how superior he is to the rest of the pack. --Nicholas H. Allison

From the Back Cover:

Three armed men raid the Ute tribe's gambling casino, and then disappear in the maze of canyons on the Utah-Arizona border. The FBI takes over the investigation, and agents swarm in with helicopters and high-tech equipment. Making an explosive situation even hotter, these experts devise a theory of the crime that makes a wounded deputy sheriff a suspect -- a development that brings in Tribal Police Sergeant Jim Chee and his longtime colleague, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn to help.

Chee finds a fatal flaw in the federal theory and Leaphorn sees an intriguing pattern connecting this crime with the exploits of a legendary Ute hero bandit. Balancing politics, outsiders, and missing armed fugitives, Leaphorn and Chee soon find themselves caught in the most perplexing -- and deadly -- crime hunt of their lives....

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Book Description HarperCollins, New York, NY, 1999. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition, First Printing. BRAND NEW & COLLECTIBLE. Tony Hillerman (1925 - 2008) assigns a tough case to Sgt. Jim Chee and retired Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police. It is 1998. Three heavily armed "survivalists", outsmarting hundreds of pursing officers, emerge from the Four Corners in a stolen truck, kill a police officer and vanish!. First Edition, First Printing. Bookseller Inventory # 009688

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Ships From Canada. Shelf wear on the dust jacket, otherwise new Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 275 p. Audience: General/trade. Book Description: Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Tony Hillerman s complex, amazingly real detectives, have been called two of the most anticipated characters in crime fiction by the Chicago Times. Each outing reveals a new dimension of the men s personae and their unique relationship. Hunting Badger is no exception, another astoundingly plotted thriller that pairs the two Navajo policemen in a deadly killing game. Set on the vast Navajo Reservation sprawling across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, Hunting Badger is inspired by an actual 1998 manhunt for three police killers, which produced no arrests, leaving only a legacy of FBI bungling and mishandling. In this taut fictional account, the two detectives must cope with the Federal Bureau of Ineptitude, taking on swarms of agents and hangars of high-tech equipment. Meanwhile, Leaphorn sees a patte. Bookseller Inventory # 9533635589

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Book Description Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: Harpercollins, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Shelf wear on the dust jacket, otherwise new. Book Description: Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Tony Hillerman’s complex, amazingly real detectives, have been called “two of the most anticipated characters in crime fiction” by the Chicago Times. Each outing reveals a new dimension of the men’s personae and their unique relationship. Hunting Badger is no exception, another astoundingly plotted thriller that pairs the two Navajo policemen in a deadly killing game. Set on the vast Navajo Reservation sprawling across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, Hunting Badger is inspired by an actual 1998 manhunt for three police killers, which produced no arrests, leaving only a legacy of FBI bungling and mishandling. In this taut fictional account, the two detectives must cope with the “Federal Bureau of Ineptitude,” taking on swarms of agents and hangars of high-tech equipment. Meanwhile, Leaphorn sees a pattern that intrigues him in the Indian legend of an Ute hero, while Chee finds a fatal flaw in the official “theory of the crime.” Hunting Badger is Tony Hillerman’s intelligent, suspenseful writing at its best, following up on his mega-selling The First Eagle, which rose to the number two position on The New York Times bestseller list, spending 10 weeks on the list. 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-847080546

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