June 28th, 2022
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
LADY SCOTLADY SCOT
Fresh Pick
WEST SIDE LOVE STORY
WEST SIDE LOVE STORY

New Books This Week

Latest Articles

Video Book Club


Summer reads begin in June!

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.


slideshow image
"He could see her face. And she couldn’t breathe…"


slideshow image
Can a chance meeting open a grieving heart to love?


slideshow image
When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty.


slideshow image
RUN. HIDE. SEEK.


slideshow image
Channeling Indiana Jones, author Kat Martin pairs a woman in search of her family's truth with a hard-hitting professional treasure hunter!


Excerpt of The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman

Purchase


HarperCollins
March 2003
Featuring: Joe Leaphorn; Jim Chee
334 pages
ISBN: 0061098795
Paperback (reprint)
Add to Wish List

Mystery Private Eye

Also by Tony Hillerman:

The Shape Shifter, January 2022
Paperback / e-Book
Skeleton Man, January 2022
Paperback / e-Book
The Wailing Wind, July 2021
Paperback / e-Book
The Sinister Pig, July 2021
Paperback
The Fallen Man, July 2020
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Sacred Clowns, October 2019
Paperback / e-Book
The Dark Wind, February 2019
Paperback
The Ghostway, February 2019
Paperback
Dance Hall Of The Dead, June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
A Thief Of Time, June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
People Of Darkness, June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
The Shape Shifter, January 2008
Mass Market Paperback
The Blessing Way, January 2007
Hardcover
The Shape Shifter, November 2006
Hardcover
Skeleton Man, January 2006
Paperback (reprint)
Tony Hillerman: Leaphorn, Chee, and More: The Fallen Man, the First Eagle, Hunting Badger, October 2005
Hardcover (reprint)
Dance Hall of the Dead, October 2005
Paperback (reprint)
The Dark Wind, October 2004
Paperback
The Wailing Wind, March 2003
Paperback (reprint)
Sacred Clowns, February 2003
Paperback (reprint)
Seldom Disappointed, October 2002
Trade Size (reprint)
Great Taos Bank Robbery: And Other True Stories of the Southwest, October 2001
Trade Size
Hunting Badger, January 2001
Paperback (reprint)

Excerpt of The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman

Chapter One

Officer Bernadette Manuelito had been having a busy day, enjoying most of it, and no longer feeling like the greenest rookie of the Navajo Tribal Police. She had served the warrant to Desmond Nakai at the Cudai Chapter House, following her policy of getting the most unpleasant jobs out of the way first. Nakai had actually been at the chapter house, obviating the hunt for him she'd expected, and -- contrary to predictions of Captain Largo -- he had been pleasant about it.

She had dropped down to the Beclabito Day School to investigate a reported break-in there. That was nothing much. A temp maintenance employee had overdone his weekend drinking, couldn't wait until Monday to get a jacket he'd left behind, broke a window, climbed in and retrieved it. He agreed to pay for the damages. The dispatcher then contacted her and canceled her long drive to the Sweetwater Chapter House. That made Red Valley next on her list of stops.

"And Bernie," the dispatcher said, "when you're done at Red Valley, here's another one for you. Fellow called in and said there's a vehicle abandoned up a gulch off that dirt road that runs over to the Cove school. Paleblue king- cab pickup truck. Check the plates. We'll see if it's stolen."

"Why didn't you get the license number from the guy reporting it?"

Because, the dispatcher explained, the report was from an El Paso Natural Gas pilot who had noticed it while flying yesterday afternoon and again this morning. Too high to read the plates.

"But not too high to tell it was abandoned?"

"Come on, Bernie," the dispatcher said. "Who leaves a car parked in an arroyo overnight unless he stole it for a joyride?" With that he gave her a little better description of the probable location and said he was sorry to be loading her up.

"Sure," said Bernie, "and I'm sorry I sounded so grouchy." The dispatcher was Rudolph Nez, an old-timer who had been the first to accept her, a female, as a fellow cop. A real friend, and she had a feeling he was parceling her out more work to show her he looked on her as a full-fledged officer. Besides, this new assignment gave her a reason to drive up to Roof Butte, about as close as you could drive to ten thousand feet on the Navajo Reservation. The abandoned truck could wait while she took her break there.

She sat on a sandstone slab in a mixed growth of aspen and spruce, eating her sack lunch, thinking of Sergeant Jim Chee, and facing north to take advantage of the view. Pastora Peak and the Carrizo Mountains blocked off the Colorado Rockies, and the Lukachukai Forest around her closed off Utah's peaks. But an infinity of New Mexico's empty corner spread below her, and to the left lay the northern half of Arizona. This immensity, dappled with cloud shadows and punctuated with assorted mountain peaks, was enough to lift the human spirit. At least it did for Bernie. So did remembering the day when she was a brand- new rookie recruit in the Navajo Tribal Police and Jim Chee had stopped here to show her his favorite view of the Navajo Nation. That day a thunderstorm was building its cloud towers over Chaco Mesa miles to the northeast and another was taking shape near Tsoodzil, the Turquoise Mountain of the East. But the rolling grassland below them was bright under the afternoon sun. Chee had pointed to a little gray column of dirt and debris moving erratically over the fields across Highway 66. "Dust devil," she had said, and it was then she had her first glimpse behind Chee's police badge.

"Dust devil," he repeated, thoughtfully. "Yes. We have the same idea. I was taught to see in those nasty little twisters the Hard Flint Boys struggling with the Wind Children. The good yei bringing us cool breezes and pushing the rain over grazing land. The bad yei putting evil into the wind."

She finished her thermos of coffee, trying to decide what to do about Chee. If anything. She still hadn't come to any conclusions, but her mother seemed to have deemed him acceptable. "This Mr. Chee," she'd said. "I heard he's born to the Slow Talking Dineh, and his daddy was a Bitter Water." That remark had come apropos of absolutely nothing, and her mother hadn't expanded on it. Nor did she need to. It meant her mother had been asking around, and had satisfied herself that since Bernie was born to the Ashjjhi Dineh, and for Bead People, none of the Navajo incest taboos were at risk if Bernie smiled at Chee. Smiling was as far as it had gone, and maybe as far as she wanted it to go. Jim Chee was proving hard to understand.

But she was still thinking about him when she pulled her patrol car up the third little wash north of Cove and saw the sun glinting off the back window of a truck-pale blue as described and blocking the narrow track up the bottom of the dry wash.

New Mexico plates. Bernie jotted down the numbers. She stepped out of her car, walked up the wash, noticing the vehicle's windows were open. And stopped. A rifle was in the rack across the back window. Who would walk off and leave that to be stolen?

"Hello," Bernie shouted, and waited.

"Hey. Anyone home?" And waited again.

No answer. She unsnapped the flap on her holster, touched the butt of the pistol, and moved silently to the passenger-side door.

A man wearing jeans and a jean jacket was lying on his side on the front seat, head against the driver-side door, a red gimme cap covering most of his face, knees drawn up a little.

Sleeping one off, thought...

Excerpt from The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman
All rights reserved by publisher and author

© 2003-2022 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy