cover image Song of the Lion

Song of the Lion

Anne Hillerman. Harper, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-239190-2

At the start of Hillerman’s thoughtful third Southwestern mystery (after 2015’s Rock with Wings), a bomb detonates in the parking lot of Shiprock High School, where police officer Bernadette “Bernie” Manuelito is looking forward to watching an alumni basketball game in the gym. Bernie discovers a gravely injured man at the scene, but it seems the real target was Aza Palmer, a lawyer scheduled to mediate a meeting among Native Americans, environmentalists, and others to discuss a controversial proposed resort on Navajo land. Bernie’s husband, Sgt. Jim Chee, is assigned to guard the reluctant Palmer and navigate the tricky waters of protesters and residents with different tribal affiliations, languages, and concerns. Meanwhile, Bernie consults veteran investigator Joe Leaphorn, who has contributions to make to the case during his ongoing recovery from a serious gunshot wound. Though seasoned mystery readers may guess the perpetrator before the tense denouement, the book offers insights on the strength of family ties and the possibilities of redemption after a history of pain. [em]Agent: Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, JET Literary Associates. (Apr.) [/em]