The Shape Shifter

Tony Hillerman, Author . HarperCollins $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-056345-5

A picture cut from a glossy magazine, Luxury Living , draws retired Navajo tribal policeman Lt. Joe Leaphorn into a hunt for a soulless killer in bestseller Hillerman's enthralling 18th Leaphorn/Chee whodunit (after 2004's Skeleton Man ). The picture's sender, Mel Bork, another cop retiree, wonders if the distinctive Navajo rug shown in the picture is the same one Leaphorn described to him long ago, a rug supposedly destroyed in a fire the two officers investigated that took the life of a person identified as among the FBI's most wanted. Bork's subsequent disappearance and murder herald the dangers awaiting Leaphorn from a most formidable enemy. As Leaphorn searches for evidence to confirm his suspicions, he enlists the aid of Sgt. Jim Chee and his bride, Bernadette Manuelito, just back from their honeymoon. Only Hillerman could so masterfully connect such disparate elements as an ancient cursed weaving, two stolen buckets of piñon sap and the Vietnam War. The conclusion is sure to startle longtime fans of this acclaimed mystery series. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 12/01/2006
Mass Market Paperbound - 322 pages
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