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The First Eagle (1998)

by Tony Hillerman

Series: Jim Chee (10), Leaphorn/Chee (13)

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1,692228,356 (3.81)71
PI Joe Leaphorn of Arizona investigates the murder of an Indian policeman for which an eagle poacher has been arrested. Leaphorn thinks someone else did it. By the author of The Fallen Man.
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The First Eagle is an interesting book. The Bubonic Plague is a real problem in the southwest desert. There are scientists who have devoted their lives to research it. Fascinating. This is a good book and highly recommended. ( )
  lbswiener | Sep 10, 2021 |
Interesting mystery, but the details of the search for bubonic plague vectors was overly detailed and ultimately off-putting. The foreshadowing of 'who-dun-it' turned the mystery into a predictable discovery, unlike many of Hillerman's other stories. Not one of my favourites. Perhaps if I'd read the Hillerman oeuvre in publication order, the narrative would have seemed fresh. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Sep 26, 2019 |
This really had everything I want in a mystery: decent writing, evocative setting, and reflections on relationships: ethical, romantic and fraternal. Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and "Cowboy" all love each other; other characters support that love. It's worth taking to heart. The plot: a bit clunky, but only because it wasn't the point. The plot was adequate to carry the rest, and even clever. I've been thinking about the ending and it's satisfying.
The author mentions two other books in passing, which I found unusual. I took note of the second, Execution Eve by Bill Buchanan. (Can someone else find the first? and note it in the comments?)
One more odd note: the elongated spacing on page 239 of the hard cover: "No, he'd do it if he had to." Made me wonder. Deliberate? Probably not, but effective, nonetheless. Final note: MAPS. Why can't his books have maps? I go crazy wanting one when reading his novels. ( )
1 vote MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Amazon Description: When Acting Lt. Jim Chee catches a Hopi poacher huddled over a butchered Navajo Tribal police officer, he has an open-and-shut case--until his former boss, Joe Leaphorn, blows it wide open. Now retired from the Navajo Tribal Police, Leaphorn has been hired to find a hot-headed female biologist hunting for the key to a virulent plague lurking in the Southwest. The scientist disappeared from the same area the same day the Navajo cop was murdered. Is she a suspect or another victim? And what about a report that a skinwalker--a Navajo witch--was seen at the same time and place too? For Leaphorn and Chee, the answers lie buried in a complicated knot of superstition and science, in a place where the worlds of native peoples and outside forces converge and collide.
Leaphorn and Chee combine to solve a mystery. Great characters, great story. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Jul 28, 2018 |
Jim Chee, now acting lieutenant for the Navajo Tribal Police, catches a cop-killer in the act. Or did he? More than one person casts some doubt on Chee's collar, and unfortunately one of them is Janet Pete, the romantic interest who outlived her welcome for me about four books ago. It's a pity that she couldn't have been infected with the bubonic plague that is a featured plot point. As usual, the mystery in this one is interesting, and retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn ends up on the case when he is hired as a private investigator in another seemingly unrelated case that of course is totally related. I know it doesn't happen, but I keep hoping that Chee will wander off to Washington D.C. with Janet and leave Leaphorn in charge again. He's by far my favorite character, and at least his romantic interest seems to be capable of having a mature relationship without constant game-playing and idiocy. Sigh. ( )
  rosalita | Jan 26, 2017 |
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Since I began my fictional relationship with the Navajo Tribal Police, six of its officers have been killed while performing their duty. A small force covering a vast expanse of mountains, canyons, and desert, they must work primarily alone. In case of danger help is often hours away even if their radio calls for backup are heard.

I dedicate this work to these six officers and their families. They gave their lives in defense of their people.

Burton Begay, Tuba City, 1975. Loren Whitehat, Tuba City, 1979. Andy Begay, Kayenta, 1987. Roy Lee Stanley, Kayenta, 1987. Hoskie Gene Jr., Kayenta, 1995. Samuel Redhouse, Crownpoint, 1996.
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The body of Anderson Nez lay under a sheet on the gurney, waiting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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PI Joe Leaphorn of Arizona investigates the murder of an Indian policeman for which an eagle poacher has been arrested. Leaphorn thinks someone else did it. By the author of The Fallen Man.

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For acting chief Jim Chee, the murder of a Navajo Tribal Police Officer seems like an open-and-shut case when he discovers a Hopi poacher huddled over the victim's butchered corpse. However, Chee's newly retired predecessor, Joe Leaphorn, believes otherwise.

Hired to find a missing biologist who was searching for the key to a virulent hidden plague - and who vanished in the same area and on the same day the policeman was slain - Leaphorn suspects both events are somehow connected. And the reported sighting of a 'skinwalker' - a Navajo witch - has Leaphorn and Chee seeking answers to a deadly riddle in a dark place where superstition and science collide.
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