Rookie Navaho police officer Bernadette Manuelito is making her round when she spots what looks to be an abandoned truck. Upon closer inspection she finds what appears to be a drunk sleeping it off in the seat. Yep you guessed it when she touched him he was cold, dead cold.
All of our old palls from previous novels converge on the seen that turn out to be a homicide as the individual was shot in the back.
As the story progresses we get the thing that makes Hillerman, Hillerman; there are graphic descriptions of the landscape and weather. We also get a small indoctrination into the Navaho way as a shaman and an old man are interrogated. Yes and the is also a love interest or two as scene mostly through the eves of Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, and suspect Wiley Denton of who seems to have misplaced his wife..
I suggest that just before you read this or while you are reading this that you also have a copy of the book "Hillerman Country: A Journey Through the Southwest with Tony Hillerman" It is a book filled with the pictures of the areas mentioned in this book (Including the torques mountain.)
You can tell that this book was written later on the series because the characters refer back to earlier times and other misters. The references are casual enough that if you had not read the other books you would not notice them.
As with most Hillerman novels the answer to the main riddle is usually immediately or soon figured out so we have fun finding out how long it will take the characters to catch up. Many a time different characters have clues and do not compare in time to act.