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A Thief of Time
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When two corpses appear amid stolen goods and bones at an ancient burial site, Navajo Tribal Policemen Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee must plunge into the past to unearth the astonishing truth behind a mystifying series of horrific murders. Movie rights sold and characters of Leaphorn and Chee licensed to Wildwood Enterprises (Robert Redford's production company).
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YA-- Hillerman's fans have another hit to celebrate, another surprising mysterious adventure. It may be a toss-up as to what draws them most strongly: varied, detailed, and fascinating revelations of contemporary culture; or compelling, complex, and original murder mysteries. Against the backdrop of the puzzle of the long-ago vanished Anasazi people, a complex mystery emerges in which Anglo culture and values pull against those of the Navajo, resulting in a bizarre series of murders solved by the Navajo Tribal Police. Fast, literate, absorbing reading with unique settings and characters, this title is for lovers of adventure as well as mystery.-- Annette Demeritt, Houston Public Library

Topping even his highly praised The Blessing Way and Skinwalkers, Hillerman's new novel seamlessly unites drama, pathos and naturally humorous incidents in the continuing story of Navajo life set in the American Southwest. Tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee head a big and skillfully realized cast involved in the disappearance of anthropologist Eleanor Friedman-Bernal. Near Dr. Friedman-Bernal's secret dig, Chee finds the bodies of men who have been stealing the Anasazi cultural relics the anthropologist is dedicated to protecting. Leaphorn makes his way to this dangerous, almost inaccessible site after consulting with Chee and questioning the missing woman's friends, Maxie Davis and her colleague, Randall Elliott. They are also, the detective feels, prickly scientific rivals, a factor that deepens the mystery as does each step on the trail that ends when Leaphorn's mission seems accomplished in an eerie meeting with a mad hermit. But there is a twist in circumstances so suspenseful it stops the reader's breath. Once more, Hillerman's artistry ensures that his latest cannot be easily classified as murder mystery or thrilleror anything except a fine novel. 75,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo, BOMC, QPBC, Detective Book Club and Mysterious Book Club alternates; author tour. (July)

"All of Tony Hillerman's Navajo tribal police novels have been brilliant, but "A Thief of time is flat-out marvelous."-- "USA Today"Vintage Tony Hillerman: suspenseful, compelling! Hillerman transcends the mystery genre and this is one of [his] best." -- "Washington Post Book World""Skillful. Provocative. The action never flags." -- "New York Times Book Review""Hillerman's story is mesmerizing, not only for its suspense, which is delicious, but for the picture the author paints of the landscape in which it unfolds." -- "Cosmopolitan""Brilliantly paced, highly evocative. Hillerman is surely one of the finest and most original craftsmen at work in the genre today." -- "Boston Globe Book Review""Beautifully constructed . . . Builds to a socko finish." -- "Los Angeles Times Book Review""Rich with detection . . . He knows the people, the topography, and the footing." -- "Chicago Tribune""A keen observer in a world not his own . . . Hillerman tells of death and life in the Navajo nation." -- "People""Hillerman evokes the Arizona desert and Navajo lore as no other writer can." -- Phyllis A. Whitney

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