If you like your whodunnits set against a magnificent backdrop and featuring a healthy slice of ethnography then this is one for you.
This series is satisfying principally for its setting in the 'land of room enough and time'- great desert expanses of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico- and for its meticulous ethnographic detail. In this book the plot is as satisfying as ever, although there is a bias towards FBI lore, based, as it is, on a real manhunt which took place in 1998 in the canyons of the Utah Arizona border country. The series' two main characters, Navajo Tribal Police Sergeant Jim Chee,(more footsore than fancy free, in this instance) and 'Lieutenant emeritus' Joe Leaphorn both have equal billing and appear to be working in tandem at last, thank goodness! I prophesy a happy ending for all sometime soon.
I particularly like this series because the books are so much more than just whodunnits. Hillerman is particularly knowledgeable about his subject- Navajo history and traditions and he writes with great sympathy for a culture not his own, and a countryside which he clearly loves deeply. His descriptions of the landscape, and lifestyle are unsentimental but leave you wanting more.
It is also interesting that the books have two quite different main characters, both fully developed and sympathetic. This allows him to ring the changes very effectively over the series and avoids the books seeming too formulaic.
If you are a devotee of the Crime/Thriller genre, you will enjoy the plot, which is satisfying as always. If not you will find the setting and characters enthralling in their own right.