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Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman
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A better-than-usual entry in this series, probably because there's a large focus on Leaphorn and less on Chee and his hopeless romantic entanglements. When a policeman is shot in the course of a casino robbery, the ensuing manhunt brings dread to the minds of the Navajo Tribal Police who remember an earlier snafu involving the FBI and a botched search of Indian country in search of possible eco-terrorists. As always, the insights into Navajo culture are the highlights of the book. ( )
  rosalita | Oct 4, 2017 |
As usual, I enjoyed Tony Hillerman's characters in [Hunting Badger]. Leaphorn and Chee are together again, this time solving a casino robbery. Once again, they must help the FBI solve the case. An enjoyable quick detective read and I liked the evolution of their friendship.

My Kindle edition had a lot of information at the end about Hillerman, his writing style and motivation, how he grew up and more. I enjoyed learning that he never envisioned Leaphorn and Chee working together until one of his fans asked why had had changed Leaphorn's name to Chee? She couldn't tell them apart. So Hillerman put them together so that he could prove (to himself!) that they were different individuals.

Hillerman: "I am sure there are writers self-confidant enough to forget this. What does this old babe know? But that was not for me. Like what St. Paul called his 'thorn in the flesh,' it wouldn't go away. I decided to put both characters in the same book to settle the issue for myself. It tried it in [Skinwalkers] (1986). It worked so well I tried it again in [A Thief of Time] (1988). Hurrah! It was the breakout book!"

All due to a confused fan. LOL ( )
  Berly | Mar 11, 2017 |
Another enjoyable read. The plot was not quite as interesting as others have been and I thought the ending was incomplete and felt a bit rushed, but otherwise entertaining. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Aug 4, 2015 |
This is probably one of the best of Hillerman's Leaphorn-Chee detective series. Inspired by an actual manhunt on the Navajo Nations in which the FBI gave up the chase, concluding the suspects dead (what else could you say after the suspects disappeared into the vastness that is Navajoland.) Retired NTP Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn assists Sergeant Jim Chee and Officer Bernadette Manuelito on a hunt for the robbers of the Ute Casino and the killing of a security officer and the wounding of another. Hillerman uses his extensive knowledge of Navajoland terrain, culture, history, and the general politics of all things related to this area to masterfully craft a story that keeps you invested to the end. Also has a surprise twist at the end. ( )
  MorrisE.Graham | Jan 2, 2015 |
Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman is the 14th of the original Navajo Mystery series. It opens with a long introduction about the inspiration behind the book and acknowledgments to the agencies and people who helped take those events and turn them into a mystery for Jim Chee, Bernie Manuelito, and to a lesser degree Ret. Lt. Joe Leaphorn to solve.

After a robbery and shooting at a Ute Casino, Joe Leaphorn is given a list of names by a man who wants to stay out of things but is being threatened by the men he claims did the crime. His poking around, mostly through listening to local gossip, leads Leaphorn to an apparent suicide with a note typed out on a computer. And that's what brings in the Navajo Tribal Police.

As with the first crime in 1997, the suspected casino robbers are believed to have escaped into the numerous canyons and washes near an old mining site. Chee suspects there's an easier way in and out of the area. Leaphorn suspects the answer to the riddle is locked up in decades old gossip and elder stories.

Hunting Badger draws a lot of its tension from the differences between Utes and the DinŽ, including long standing distrust and racism. The worst of the feelings may have thawed somewhat in the younger generations but not among Leaphorn's. ( )
  pussreboots | Jun 14, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061097861, Mass Market Paperback)

The marvelous Hunting Badger is Tony Hillerman's 14th novel featuring Navajo tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Here the two cops (who appeared in separate books early on but whose paths now cross routinely) are working two angles of the same case to catch the right-wing militiamen who pulled off a violent heist at an Indian casino. Hillerman serves up plenty of action and enough plot twists to keep readers off balance, leading up to a satisfyingly tense climax in which Leaphorn and Chee stalk a killer in his hideout. But through it all, the cardinal Hillerman virtues are in evidence: economical, pellucid prose; a panoply of Indian-country characters who seem to rise right up off the page; vivid evocations of the Southwest's bleak beauty; and rich insights into Navajo life and culture. (Hillerman once told an interviewer that the highest compliment he'd ever received was many Navajo readers' assumption that he himself is Navajo--he's not.)

While first-time readers will find plenty to enjoy in Hunting Badger, it holds special pleasures for longtime fans. There's more and deeper contact between Leaphorn and Chee, and we continue to see further into the prickly Leaphorn's human side (though without fuss or sentimentality). Chee finally begins to get over Janet Pete (it took about six books) and inch toward a new love interest. And in a moving section involving Chee's spiritual teacher Frank Sam Nakai, the shaman provides a key insight into the case.

In a world teeming with "sense of place" mysteries--set in Seattle, Alaska, the Arizona desert, or Chicago--it can be a shock to return to Hillerman, who started it all, and realize just how superior he is to the rest of the pack. --Nicholas H. Allison

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:18 -0400)

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Indian tribal policeman Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee investigate a casino robbery which killed a guard and wounded another. A manhunt takes them into the canyons of the Four Corners, a region bordering Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

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