Free Download | Coyote Waits (Joe Leaphorn Jim Chee Novels) | Tony Hillerman

In many Native American traditions, Coyote is both a mischievous trickster and a mythic figure embodying Chaos, waiting in darkness to swallow the best efforts of humanity. In this superb mystery, Tony Hillerman extends the metaphor to show his Navajo policemen, Leaphorn and Chee, each unknowingly working the same case from opposite ends, each trying to piece together the pattern underlying seemingly random events.

Chee's the arresting officer. His friend and fellow officer was laughing over the radio at finally finding the mysterious graffiti artist who was spraying white paint on the black basalt rock formation. Chee delayed going in for backup and when he got there, his friend was dead in his burning patrol car. He found shaman Ashie Pinto with a bottle of expensive whiskey and a gun stuck in his waistband. It looked like an open and shut case.

But then Joe Leaphorn gets involved. Pinto's sort of family, a distant clan relative. How did he get to the murder scene when he hasn't driven for years? Why did he take the sacred tools of his shaman's trade? And who gave him the whiskey?

One reads this first for the mystery--which is so gripping one can scarcely put the book down. One reads it again because the characters are so likable and engaging and because the setting is beautifully evoked. Years later, I picked it up to refresh my memory and found myself hooked again by the story. This time I realized the power of the title and how Hillerman wove this tale within the metaphor of Coyote, master of chaos, waiting hungrily in the dark to undo the good of mankind. Hillerman wrote with the same vividness one sees in the famous Navajo rugs and makes the mythology of Navajo culture come alive.

Tony Hillerman died on October 26, 2008--an American original. This review posted by a grateful fan.