People of Darkness Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of People of Darkness

This is one of many in a series created by Tony Hillerman. Jim Chee returns as Navajo tribal policeman, working out of Shiprock, New Mexico. He is temporarily assigned to Crownpoint when a strange request comes in. Mrs. Vines wants him to recover a stolen box from their house. Her husband is sick and the hospital and she wants it back before he returns home, hoping he'll feel better if his belongings have been returned. The box holds keepsakes to the family, but supposedly nothing of monetary value. So why are other people after it? Maybe it has nothing of monetary value, but perhaps it holds a secret someone wants to stay buried? After a man kills a peyote chief of the mysterious "People of Darkness" clan, Chee believes this to be true. Especially when the assassin starts taking shots at him too. With the help of his new friend Mary Landon, a local teacher, Chee finds himself researching a 30 year old mine "accident" in which some local natives were excavating a uranium mine. The mine accident seems to hold the key to the current situation. Chee and Mary will dodge bullets at least two more times before they find out what the tie is and who is really guilty.
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The review of this Book prepared by BethG

Chapter Analysis of People of Darkness

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Moderately Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   local police w/ IQ of a houseplant    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   American Indian mystery Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   search for valuable art/artifacts Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   crazed lover/family member If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West Desert?    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Tony Hillerman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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