The story was kept intact and in iconological order. However is suggest you read the book first or at the least are familiar with the characters first. There is only so much film time and this really needed to be a mini-series. Each character's background and personality was alluded to. The visuals are par-exultant. You feel that you are in Four-corners territory.
The picked a perfect cast of actors. Most have played in other Hillerman book films, so you recognize the characters. I know you can look up the list but I still am amazed at how I immediately associate the characters As with most Hillerman formulas, we have separate mysteries that overlap in time and place. Almost retired with just a few days to go Lt. Joe Leaphorn, Navajo Tribal Police, is looking for a missing anthropologist Dr. Eleanor Friedman-Bernal who disappeared, leaving an extensively prepared meal in the refrigerator. And Officer Jim Chee looking for a missing back-ho that he was supposed to be watching due to a chronic thieving problem.
Now do not jump to conclusions. Hillerman thinly veils his mysteries and you can pretty much guess the conclusion. This time it is a waste to try. We get his colorful description of the four corners country. Also, we get an insight into Navajo culture. You may go a little potty with details.