Read The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman Online


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 scientistWhen 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....

Title : The First Eagle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061097850
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 319 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The First Eagle Reviews

  • Carmen
    2019-02-19 09:48

    "Always liked that about you guys," he said. "Four days of grief and mourning for the spirit, and then get on with life. How did we white folks get into this corpse worship business? It's just dead meat, and dangerous to boot."Surprisingly, this book is about The Plague. Some scientists on on the Rez testing prairie dog fleas for strains of The Plague.One of the researchers, a 30-year-old woman, goes missing. Leaphorn is hired as a private detective by the woman's elderly relative to find her. She's missing and feared dead.Chee is called in to assist an officer, Kinsman. I'm not sure what slur to call him, he's the kind of man who sexually harasses women, and gets in barfights with men. Not sure what you'd call that. A bully? Let's go with bully. Anyway, he's generally despised, even by Chee, and he's been sexually harassing Bernie, Chee's... um. The woman who has a crush on Chee.When Chee finds Kinsman, he's lying dead and bloody on the ground, an equally bloody Hopi standing over him. Kinsman has been brained with a rock. Chee, of course, immediately arrests the Hopi for murder - ignoring his protests that he didn't kill Kinsman, he just stumbled upon the body.Guess who's assigned to defend the Hopi? That's right. That F$&%ing @#$%* Janet Pete, whom Chee used to be in love with until she betrayed him in various ways and also made it clear she was unhappy about him and his life.Chee needs this woman to come back in his life the way he needs a bullet in his thigh. ARGH. I hate her.Okay. I have to calm down.In true Hillerman fashion, the two seemingly unrelated cases end up coming together....Jim Chee has a huge problem of letting go of failed relationships. He never makes a clean break with these women and always is vulnerable to them coming back into his life. He loves with his whole heart and is eternally, dopily optimistic.Janet Pete was leaving Washington and coming back to Indian country. Her letter was friendly but cool, with no hint of romantic passion. Still, Janet was coming back, and after he finished with Kinsman he planned to call her. It would be a tentative exploratory call. Were they still engaged? Did she want to resume their prickly relationship? Bridge the gap? Actually get married? For that matter, did he?Listen, honey, if you have to ask a woman if you two are still engaged, it means you're NOT. You haven't even seen her in a year. WTF?And he's still endlessly fantasizing that they'll work it out.When he'd exhausted all the dark corners that scenario offered, he turned to an alternative. Janet had come back to him. She'd be willing to live on the Big Rez, wife of a cop, living in what her friends would rate as slum housing, where high culture was a second-run movie. In that line of thought, love overcame all. But it wouldn't. She'd yearn for the life she'd given up. He would see it. They'd be miserable.Yeah. It's never going to happen, bub. Why don't you finally make a clean break with this traitorous less-than-a-woman?In the meantime, it's rather strange that Leaphorn has transformed himself into some kind of high-end, unlicensed private investigator. o.OAnd he and Chee are still not what I would call friends, exactly.Chee sighed. Fate seemed to be tying him to his former boss again, endlessly renewing the sense of inferiority Chee felt in the presence of the Legendary Lieutenant.Then we have Leaphorn's pseudo-relationship with Louisa. She was not mentioned (even casually) in the last book. It was like she'd dropped off the face of the earth. The reader was left wondering what in the hell happened. Now, she's popped up again, halfway through this book, and things are about as clear as mud.She and Leaphorn are still NOT sleeping together, which startled me. Due to the ending of the 11th book, I'd thought they had become a (sexually active) couple, but then of course she was completely absent from the 12th book. In this book, it's revealed that they are a.) not having sex and b.) she was married once before, a fact Leaphorn learns with great surprise. And I'm thinking to myself: Leaphorn sucks just as much as Chee does at relationships. Don't these people ever TALK to their lovers? Like "Hey, are we going to be exclusive?" or "Are we just friends? Or are we dating?" Or "Have you ever been married? Do you have any children? I've known you for three years now, just thought maybe I should know." Etc. etc. It's RIDICULOUS.It's seemed that Leaphorn has more or less determined (in his own mind) that he and Louisa have somehow decided - without speaking - that they are just going to be friends.Why was he feeling illogically happy? Because the tension was gone with Louisa. No more feeling that he was betraying Emma or himself. Or that Louisa was expecting more from him than he could possibly deliver. She'd made it clear. They were friends.CARMEN'S NOTE: She did not - in any way - make this clear.Not to mention that he's still constantly and actively mourning Emma, his deceased wife.The crisp, fresh sheets reminded him of Emma. Everything did. The morning breeze ruffled the curtains beside his head. Emma, too, always left their windows open to the outside air until Window Rock's bitter winter made it impractical. The curtains, too. He had teased her about that. "I didn't see curtains in your mother's hogan, Emma," he'd said. And she rewarded him with her tolerant smile and reminded him he'd moved her out of the hogan, and Navajos must remain in harmony with houses that needed curtains. That was one of the things he loved about her. One of the many. As numerous as the stars of a high country midnight.Perhaps Louisa doesn't want to become involved in a romantic relationship with a man who is still so deeply in love with his dead wife? We'll never know because Leaphorn and Louisa NEVER CHOOSE TO FLIPPIN' COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER. Sheesh.Jim Chee's not doing so well with Janet Pete's return into his life. Therefore he does something that takes huge balls. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but I was very impressed.And when the chips are down, (view spoiler)[Janet betrays him once again. Professionally. (hide spoiler)] Jim Chee is not really surprised. His move, in addition to being ballsy, was a sort of test to see if he could still love and trust her. But the scales are finally falling from his eyes (I hope and pray this time for good) and he's really seeing (even though he should have figured it out way earlier) what kind of person Janet is.She said: "Damn you, Jim," and walked away.Chee finished his coffee, listened to her car starting up and rolling across the parking-lot gravel. He felt numb. She had loved him once, in her way. He knew he'd loved her. Probably he still did. He'd know more about that tomorrow when the pain began.I wish I could say this is the end of it, and he'll never foolishly start to want to date her again, but I know Jim Chee. He drags his dead relationships behind him for at least a year or two after they are over. He's a glutton for punishment. I have no idea what to do with him.Tl;dr - A rather strange mystery that involves The Plague. Am I the only one who finds this weird?Leaphorn and Chee continue to struggle to find romantic happiness with their respective women. Without much success. And they are still not really friends.

  • Bobby Underwood
    2019-03-11 08:10

    In The First Eagle, Tony Hillerman once again crafted a fresh and involving entry in his fine series about the Navajo Tribal Police. In this one, the retired Leaphorn is still at loose ends after a tragic death close to home. Chee, meanwhile, has become acting Lieutenant, but is having misgivings over the possibility that it will become permanent. There is a tad less of the Navajo mysticism in this entry, but the vast territory covered by the Navajo Tribal Police is given its due as always.Hillerman dedicated The First Eagle to six officers who had given their lives in defense of their people from the time he wrote his first book until this one. It is only fitting that while keeping true to the Navajo atmosphere always present in the series, good police work and the very real dangers involved for the Tribal Police are brought to the forefront.Leaphorn is asked to look for the missing Catherine Pollard. His unofficial inquiry will intersect with Chee's investigation into an officer's death. Chee's case is seemingly wrapped up, but may be more complex than it first appeared. Chee is chagrined to discover he is still a little intimidated by Leaphorn, but as the two cases cross paths, they will peel back the veneer and move closer to understanding one another.This one has everything from poaching eagles to the possibility of the bubonic plague being spread all across the Navajo landscape. Why a pack of prairie dogs are unaffected, and an old Navajo woman who claims to have seen a skinwalker will figure greatly into the exciting conclusion to this one. The ending is also heartfelt for Chee, as his relationship with the pretty lawyer Janet begins to flame out, for she may be Navajo in name only after her time in Washington.While this entry in the series is a bit different, I highly recommend it. Another fine read in one of the truly great series.

  • Michael Fox
    2019-03-11 11:53

    There are many things to like about Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police mysteries, yet foremost (in my mind at least) is how he builds them on relationships. In this story, the relationship between Joe Leaphorn and Louisa Bourbonette continues to evolve. It finds a comfortable place in friendship. Also, the Jim Chee and Janet Pete relationship continues its brittle slide as Chee follows his concise to help a wrongly arrested man gain freedom. Then, there is the budding of a relationship with Officer Bernie Manuelito as Chee comes to accept the crush she has on him. And, finally, there is the evolving friendship between Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. All of these are carried forward in this story as the tapestry against which the mystery is woven.

  • Whitney White
    2019-03-20 09:06

    Hillerman writes such good mysteries, and this is no exception. Even though they all have the same basic storyline when you boil it down, he never fails to surprise with a plot twist at the end that both catches you off-guard and explains everything (or almost everything). I also enjoy the bits of Navajo culture that he throws in each book.

  • Silvio111
    2019-03-03 10:10

    Note: I just read this book for the 2nd time - I still do not think Louisa is necessary and she is still really irritating.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Pretty good, except for the totally annoying presence of Louisa Bourbonette, whose "collaboration" Joe Leaphorn is completely improbable. I readily acknowledge that she pisses me off because I am loyal to Leaphorn's late wife, Emma, who was a solid, loveable, intelligent, and dignified woman who occupied an equal yet separate domain of the marriage. She did not try to tag along, and although Leaphorn readily shared his thoughts with her and appreciated her perspective, she was not part of the investigation. She did not ride along; she did not put her two cents in (about the case) to his coworkers, suspects, or other bystanders as the ubiquitous Louisa continues to do. Okay, I grant that Leaphorn might be lonely for female companionship and that Emma would want him to be happy. But the whole portrayal of their association really, really irritates me. Am I the only one?

  • Mary Helene
    2019-03-08 13:09

    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.

  • Ed Mestre
    2019-03-15 09:15

    Tony Hillerman can always be counted on for a quick, enjoyable read. Unlike Patricia Cornwell's "Body Farm" I recently reviewed it doesn't have the handicap of sounding a bit dated no matter when it was published. That's because these mystery solvers don't rely on the latest forensics & computers to come up with the solution. It has to do with relationships. Relationships to their culture, community, & most of all the land of the four corners area of the American Southwest. The space & spirit of this special area is integral to the story lifting me out of my urban setting to soar, at least for a little while, over ancient vistas. Glimpsing with some slight understanding of another world view that often seems superior. Oh yeah, and there's usually a damn good mystery to go along with it. "The First Eagle" is certainly no exception.

  • Jo
    2019-03-10 04:53

    Lots of intresting details, good research, but I was not really in suspence. Really wonderfull charecters too. Later-I discussed this with a goodreads friend and 2 others and came to relize this was #14 in a series. I may go back and read #1 down the road. The anthropology was a blast.

  • Scott Whitney
    2019-02-25 06:52

    I needed something to take my mind off of work for a while. This book helped. The mystery kept me going for quite a while. I was able to forecast some of the ending, but not all. I did stay up late one night to get to the end since the action was coming to a head and I could not get the mystery out of my mind anyway.

  • Mark Robertson
    2019-02-26 13:10

    The legendary Lieutenant Leaphorn is retired but still investigating mysteries on the reservation, and it's a good thing, as his insights are invaluable to his longtime subordinate Jim Chee. In this mystery Chee's focused on the murder of a Navajo police officer under his command while Leaphorn is investigating the disappearance of a field scientist looking for the source of bubonic plague that's killed a couple of Indians. The researcher disappeared on the same day that the officer was murdered, and of course that's no coincidence.This is a really strong series with wonderful characters. Leaphorn is the gristled old pro who seemingly can't stay away, while Chee is the apprentice who's now stepped into Leaphorn's shoes. (Though right now he's only an "acting" lieutenant", and doesn't really like the job.) Both men have issues in their personal lives that Hillerman succeeds in actually making the reader care about. Leaphorn is a lonely widower while Chee is a traditional Navajo in love with the wrong woman. Thank goodness it seems that Chee has finally come to his senses regarding his relationship with the beautiful, smart and very ambitious Janet Pete. It's funny that Hillerman has done such a good job with these characters and yet, on page 243 of this edition, while writing about Chee he refers to him as Leaphorn. Near the end of chapter 24, Chee is going over in his mind various scenarios regarding how Janet might use some information he's given her, and at the end of a very long paragraph concerning scenario three Hillerman writes that "…and on that tape Agent Reynald could be heard ordering Leaphorn to get rid of the eagle and thus the evidence." In fact, the FBI agent was ordering Chee, not Leaphorn, to get rid of the evidence. That's some sloppy editing.

  • James Korsmo
    2019-02-22 13:10

    I have long been a lover of Tony Hillerman stories. I enjoy the cultural landscape that surrounds his mysteries, and appreciate the cultural tensions in which his characters struggle and flourish. This book displays that same depth with the same quality mystery that typifies Hillerman's work. Now, his writing isn't as deep as P. D. James, but that's okay. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are two good main characters, and they again put their detecting skills to work to solve a murder and a disappearance. Chee is a Lieutenant with the Navajo Tribal Police and Leaphorn is a recently reteired Lieutenant. These long time partners find themselves working on the same case, with Chee investigating the murder of fellow Tribal Officer Kinsman while Leaphorn is working as a PI to investigate the mysterious disappearance, around the same time and place as the murder, of a vector control officer studying a recent case of Bubonic Plague.Chee was the first one on the scene of Kinsman's murder, and captured a suspect literally "red handed." But his former fiance and defense attorney for the accused, Janet Pete, insists that there's more than meets the eye. The mystery takes the two all across the desert southwest, and into the world of vector control and research into contagious disease. As they figure out that Cathy Pollard has disappeared in the same vicinity and at the same time as the murder, they must figure out if and how the two events are related. Is she a suspect? Another victim? An unrelated disappearance.This book is vintage Hillerman, and I enjoyed it. It made me yearn for the southwest, and if gas wasn't so expensive I'd hit the road for Santa Fe or Albuquerque to take in some sopapillas and some desert scenery.

  • astaliegurec
    2019-03-14 11:52

    OK. Yet another 3-1/2 stars instead of the official Very Good 4 stars out of 5 showing here. I'm going to assume that since "The First Eagle" is the 13th book in Tony Hillerman's "Leaphorn & Chee" series, the people reading this by now know how Hillerman writes. This is mostly that. However, there are problems. The most trivial is that the Kindle version has a lot of OCR/editing issues. Next, the little inconsistencies in technical writing that I noticed in the last book ("The Fallen Man") are more prevalent and more obvious. Third, some of those inconsistencies rise beyond technical writing issues into minor plot errors (Leaphorn interviewing someone early in the book who isn't in the book, gaps in alibis never checked and the character involved disappearing, inconsistencies in methods). Fourth, Chee's closest friend not talking to him about something very important. Fifth, someone very close to Chee got sick, had surgery, is dying AND CHEE DIDN'T KNOW about it! And, finally, the overall feeling of the book is that its more about Chee's personal life than about the mystery or the Navajo way of life. In general, the Hillerman style is there, but it just doesn't feel as finished as it should be. I'd also like to say that it sure looks like Chee has finally gotten his head screwed on right and he'll get his personal life figured out.Hillerman's "Leaphorn & Chee" novels are:1. The Blessing Way2. Dance Hall of the Dead3. Listening Woman4. People of Darkness5. The Dark Wind6. The Ghostway (Jim Chee Novels)7. Skinwalkers8. A Thief of Time9. Talking God10. Coyote Waits11. Sacred Clowns: Novel, A12. The Fallen Man13. The First Eagle14. Hunting Badger15. The Wailing Wind16. The Sinister Pig17. Skeleton Man18. The Shape Shifter

  • Diana
    2019-03-10 05:16

    I really like Tony Hillerman's book. One of the things I like is that they are set in the 4 corners area and I have spent a little time there. Hillerman is good at explaining some things about Indian culture (several different tribes) This book is about a group of people, from several agencies, studying plague and other diseases that have become more virulent due to the overuse of antibiotics. At the beginning to the story a man has just died of plague contracted from fleas on prairie dogs. I have often wondered what will happen when we have a large outbreak of plague from the fleas on prairie dogs.....will people still think they are so cute and love them so much???It appears that an Indian has killed a Navajo policeman (he is found kneeling over the policeman and has his blood on him) The Indian says he was illegally hunting eagles and the blood is from where an eagle got him. Office Jim Chee (long time Hillerman character) is the one of discovers the murder/murderer. It isn't long until retired Lt.Leaphorn is involved as a young, female health officer disappeared in this same area on the same day. Leaphorn has a lot of philosophy that he shares....such as, "there is no such thing as co-incidence." (I think that is true in live as well as solving murders)All in all, another good murder mystery by Hillerman. Too bad he died in 2008...I will miss his novels.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-19 08:09

    I've read and enjoyed many of Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police novels, though apparently not during this past year, and not this one before. These are low-key mysteries, in which the police characters - Jim Chee and the (now-retired) Lt. Joe Leaphorn - work methodically toward solving their problems. Leaphorn is a traditional thinking detective in many ways - I might compare him to Simenon's Maigret, except the two writers' narrative styles are so different. In this particular novel, there are two problems: the disappearance of a biologist and the murder of a tribal police officer. Leaphorn doesn't believe in coincidence, and as usual, he's right. Hillerman throws in a bit of preaching about the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is unusual for him (normally his preaching is about the venality of the general run of Federal law enforcement types), but since the plot revolves around biologists studying bubonic plague, he probably learned more than he wanted to know about the problem during his research. Of course I recommend this book - though it might be better for you to start with some of the earlier ones, if Hillerman is new to you. This one assumes a certain familiarity with the characters and milieu.

  • Sull
    2019-02-18 10:54

    Missed this one, a good one, somehow when I was reading these years (decades) ago. I'm finding these Hillerman Navaho mysteries so full of meaning now, especially the ones dealing with retired policeman Leaphorn. I think I was bored with these slower (sadder) stories when I read this series in my 20s, but now that I'm inching trepidaciously into my 60s, I'm consuming these tales of elderly retirees & wily shamans working together with more interest, more need. Back then I guess I liked the more youthful romantic sub-plot, which now seems completely silly to me.....As in the best of TH's work, a carefully described Four Corners landscape of mountains & canyons provides the setting for the mystery, in which various Navaho characters follow their old or new gods, just as the strange white men & women follow after theirs, leading to conflicts & misunderstandings that distort & ultimately deepen the story into something more (or less) than the apparent mystery.Don't know why I love these so much. The good ones are calming & weirdly comforting (so American?) & this is a good one.

  • David Bryant
    2019-03-11 12:57

    Recently re-read this as well as another one from the series, probably 10 years or more since I first read either one, and it was still extremely enjoyable. I love the way Hillerman explains and respects the Navajos and other Native American groups, but is also able to portray their differences and conflicts. His love of the southwest is always present as well.The book has the usual lead characters, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, and several others are familiar as well -- Janet Peet in particular. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are suitably flawed, of course (more so the younger Chee, of course), but the least attractive characters are often from the Federal agencies -- FBI, BLM, etc. (Why is it that mystery writers seem to universally think little of the FBI? or is it only the ones I read?)This story is unusual in several respects, and enjoyably so. And the sadness of the ending will certainly be carried forward to later books in the series.I am sure I would enjoy re-reading this again in another 10 years...

  • Erica
    2019-02-18 05:52

    I'm not normally a great lover of mysteries, but since my work for the Park Service has me researching the Navajo, I thought I'd better listen to one of Hillerman's books on my drive home last month. As far as mysteries go, I did not find the First Eagle terribly suspenseful. It was quite obvious that the accused murderer was not the murderer, and no one seemed to be in any danger of anything while the real murderer was ever so slowly tracked down. I also found the book tediously full of details about the bubonic plague. One explanation of the plague's relationship to prairie dog colonies would have sufficed, but Hillerman threw in four or five just to make sure we got it. However, Hillerman's main characters, Leaphorn and Chee, were enjoyable, and I can see how the series keeps its faithful readers.

  • Orville Jenkins
    2019-03-06 05:54

    A murder mystery and a medical mystery coincide with the appearance of bubonic plague on the reservation. The usual FBI swaggers appear as comic relief in the Hillerman style, referred to by Navajo Police Detective Jim Chee as the Federal Bureau of Incompetence.With the rich cultural backdrops, the brusque Feds always manage to overlook the sensitive worldview issues. They come off looking stupid due to their arrogance and ignorance of the local factors in a case. George Guidall's clear vocal acting enables us to identify and follow the interaction of the generous cast of characters peopling this Hillerman novel.In this story, a sideline plot is very important as Jim Chee undergoes training to become a shaman. The Mystical aspects of the culture flow along with the ominous challenges of the black death. Science and the supernatural cooperate to solve this mystery.

  • Susan
    2019-02-26 10:54

    I thought I had read every single book Tony Hillerman ever wrote, but I'm not sure about this one. Either I have read it and lost it in the recesses of my aging brain, or I missed it. Either way I'm enjoying reading it (again?).OK....I never read this on before and it is as wonderful as all of Hillerman's Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn stories. Hillerman is one of those rare writers who, like Alexander McCall Smith, takes you to a location in such a way that you can feel and know the place as if you are there. Both writers create living, breathing, fallible, believable characters and both tell good stories. If you haven't read Hillerman do yourself a favor and start from the beginning of the series and read them all.

  • Morris Graham
    2019-03-04 09:58

    A Hopi eagle poacher, the murder of a Navajo Tribal Policeman, a missing vector control agent sudying bubonic plague cases among the prairie dog burrows... Follow retired NTP Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and acting Lieutenant Jim Chee on their search for the truth. This story is full of angles, troubles between local law enforcement on the reservation and the FBI, along with the return back to the reservation of Chee's half Navajo ex-fiance turned public defender that makes this novel a spellbinding story. Hillerman weaves the theme of plague and the study of antibotic resistant pathogens expertly. In the backdrop of the Navajo nations, he weaves so many elements together, but keeps you guessing until the end whodonit.Great Read!

  • Elvira
    2019-03-17 10:48

    As a retired academic biologist, I found the book interesting because it depicts, albeit exaggerated, competition between scientists. The plot reminded me of one of Hillerman's earlier books in which competition between several archeologists resulted in murder for the sake of claim and fame over theories and artifacts. Shades of this competition does exist in academia and research, but not to the point of murder, obviously. Regardless, Hillerman's novels use murder/crime as a trope for plot development. As always, the relationships between the two discordant cultures of the Navajo, represented by Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, are captivating. As is that of Jim and Janet Pete. Also of note is the layer of interaction between the Navaho and Hopi, where old relationships color the modern.

  • Patrick Gibson
    2019-03-12 06:59

    From most authors, this would be an impressive book. From Hillerman, it is not. He was coasting with this one -- worth reading, but don't buy it unless, like me, you find it at the used bookstore.Yes, it has Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, and it's set on the reservation. But the precipitating conflict is between two non-Native American researchers on the reservation. Leaphorn gets hired by one of the researcher's parents to solve her disappearance. Glimpses of Navajo culture and thinking, and Hopi culture, are here. But they are only glimpses, of what was fully laid out in exquisite and compassionate detail in Hillerman's previous books. If you've heard great things about Hillerman, they're true -- but NOT in this book. Please start with one of his others.

  • Mary Ellen
    2019-03-06 11:09

    Both of Hillerman's detectives are in new positions that don't quite fit: Joe Leaphorn is spending his retirement acting like a cop and Jim Chee, Acting Lieutenant, avoids supervisory duties by plunging deep into the investigation of the murder of one of his officers. I love the contrast between "modern" Leaphorn and "traditional" Chee and the bits here and there about Navajo (and to a lesser extent, Hopi) belief and practice, which gradually add up to presentation of a whole world view. My second time reading the book; the first was probably 8-10 years ago. As much a pleasure as the first time.

  • Robert Walton
    2019-03-01 09:09

    This book is especially resonant in the age of Ebola. Tony Hillerman and Edward Abbey are the great champions of of the Southwest, though only Hillerman embraces the natural world as an active character in his novels. That world seizes primacy in First Eagle. Old friends Leaphorn, Chee and McGinnes have their thoughtful conversations, but they and the other characters float upon deadly, murderous currents. In trying to resolve the death of a murdered policeman and the fate of a missing woman, the detectives clarify a deeper paradox: a natural world of unsurpassed beauty that seeks to kill us with merciless diseases.

  • Janel
    2019-03-12 06:12

    I think because I am reading this series in order, I love the stories even more than I did the first time. Characters that show up sporadically in the books are fresher in my mind and therefore I don't spend time trying to remember their back story.This book is not as enjoyable if you have not read previous Leaphorn/Chee stories. I loved everything about this story.I am sadly getting closer to the final Tony Hillerman story.

  • Stephen
    2019-03-03 11:07

    Two series of events come together: an eagle-poacher accused of murder and a virologist gone missing. I enjoyed Jim Chee's collaboration with an Indian cop not from the Navajo tribal police and Jim's helpful (but potentially self-destructive) tactics to help Janet find exculpatory evidence for her defense of the man Jim had himself arrested earlier, caught all bloodied at the scene of a fatal assault.

  • Elizabeth Mosley
    2019-03-10 10:09

    I didn't really enjoy this Leaphorn/Chee mystery. The main plot hinges around the disappearance of a "vector specialist," a woman who works for the NIH studying diseases in rodents. I felt like much of the book was a rehashing of biology class. It was technical and boring, and there wasn't nearly enough character development for me to care about any of the main figures. Even Chee and Leaphorn's characters got short shrift in this book.

  • Sylvia McIvers
    2019-03-08 09:04

    Nice show of Indian beliefs, a little about life on the reservation, and a missing woman who is (surprise!) actually dead. The first eagle was a witness to the murder... sort of. Add a little plague, and you've got some urgency to solving the case. The plague-solver is a complete jackass, and isn't interested in solving the murder of a single person - its far more important to solve the mystery of the plague, which can kill millions.

  • Anne Dart
    2019-03-21 08:06

    I enjoyed this mystery set in the Southwest which involves the Hopi, the Navajo and the white man in a modern day setting. The resurgence of the bubonic plague and attempts to find a cure added a new wrinkle to this mystery as a young Hopi is accused of killing both an eagle and a law enforcement officer.

  • John
    2019-02-26 12:03

    I love Tony Hillerman's Navajo series. Would like to be a sheep camp Navaho, living in a trailer in a place of beauty. As most of the Hillerman series, this novel has a plot and more than one hero. Mysteries are mysterious, but these Navajo reservation scenes provide a confluence of ancient culture meeting current realities in a way that is always satisfying.