“All of Tony Hillerman’s Navajo tribal police novels have been brilliant, but A Thief of Time is flat-out marvelous.”—USA Today
From New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman, A Thief of Time is the eighth novel featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee as they find themselves in hot pursuit of a depraved killer.
At a moonlit Indian ruin where "thieves of time" ravage sacred ground in the name of profit, a noted anthropologist vanishes while on the verge of making a startling, history-altering discovery. Amid stolen goods and desecrated bones, two corpses are discovered, shot by bullets fitting the gun of the missing scientist.
There are modern mysteries buried in despoiled ancient places, and Navajo Tribal Policemen Leaphorn and Chee must plunge into the past to unearth an astonishing truth and a cold-hearted killer. In his breakout novel, Hillerman paints a stunning portrait of the psychology of murder—and offers a heart-rending example of love and forgiveness.
Topping even his highly praised The Blessing Way and Skinwalkers, Hillerman's new novel seamlessly unites drama, pathos and naturally humorous incidents in the continuing story of Navajo life set in the American Southwest. Tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee head a big and skillfully realized cast involved in the disappearance of anthropologist Eleanor Friedman-Bernal. Near Dr. Friedman-Bernal's secret dig, Chee finds the bodies of men who have been stealing the Anasazi cultural relics the anthropologist is dedicated to protecting. Leaphorn makes his way to this dangerous, almost inaccessible site after consulting with Chee and questioning the missing woman's friends, Maxie Davis and her colleague, Randall Elliott. They are also, the detective feels, prickly scientific rivals, a factor that deepens the mystery as does each step on the trail that ends when Leaphorn's mission seems accomplished in an eerie meeting with a mad hermit. But there is a twist in circumstances so suspenseful it stops the reader's breath. Once more, Hillerman's artistry ensures that his latest cannot be easily classified as murder mystery or thrilleror anything except a fine novel. 75,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo, BOMC, QPBC, Detective Book Club and Mysterious Book Club alternates; author tour.