This is probably one of the most suspenseful of the Chee/Leaphorn mysteries. In it we encounter a melancholy and downbeat Joe Leaphorn who, after the sad death of his wife Emma, decides to retire from his job with the Navajo Tribal Police. But then a young anthropologist specializing in ancient Anasazi pottery goes missing, and Leaphorn decides that he must solve the case because Emma would have wanted him to.
When several murders are committed all involving illegal grave-digging at the sites of the Anasazi ruins, the case becomes more complicated, and Leaphorn teams up with Officer Jim Chee. At least one of the murders was committed with the missing anthropologist's gun. Is she a killer who just faked her own disappearance? If so, what was her motive? The investigation leads Leaphorn into his past as a young police officer when an old acquaintance is murdered whose mentally ill son's life he had once saved.
This report prepared by Dorothea Lotter