People of Darkness
People of Darkness is the fourth crime fiction novel in the Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Navajo Tribal Police series by author Tony Hillerman, first published in 1980. This is the first novel in the series to feature Officer Jim Chee.
The story is set in New Mexico, where Jim Chee takes a position at the Crownpoint, NM office of the Navajo Tribal Police. New crimes center around a very wealthy white man and several Navajos he befriended nearly 30 years earlier, helping them support their church. His wealth arose from uranium, in high demand back then, more than could be made from oil.
The novel was well-received: "well-written and gripping . . . [set] against a background of authentic Indian culture, an incredible achievement for a non-Indian writer." and "thoroughly splendid work: moody, atmospheric, complex without contrivance, and properly unsettling." A review written in 2010 was still impressed with the novel, saying "the great triumph of Hillerman’s art lies in the way he was able to weave this Native American theme into the story, along with all the accompanying cultural background, without ever compromising the mystery."
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