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.
This report prepared by BethG