Dance Hall of the Dead

Dance Hall of the Dead

Audiobook CD - 2005
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Two young boys suddenly disappear. One of them, a Zuni, leaves a pool of blood behind. Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police tracks the brutal killer. Three things complicate the search: an archeological dig, a steel hypodermic needle, and the strange laws of the Zuni. Compelling, terrifying, and highly suspenseful, "Dance Hall of the Dead" never relents from first page til last.
Publisher: [New York] : Harper Audio, [2005]
Edition: Unabridged
Copyright Date: ℗1990
ISBN: 9780060815110
Characteristics: 5 audio discs (6 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
plastic,metal,4 3/4 in.,1.4 m. per second,mass-produced
digital,optical,1.4 m. per second
audio file,CD audio
Additional Contributors: Guidall, George


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May 25, 2018

My dad has long enjoyed Tony Hillerman's mysteries, and he recommended them to me. After listening to this audiobook, I see why. The character of Joe Leaphorn is relatable and authentic, the descriptions are vivid, and the glimpses into Native American culture are informative and interesting. I did figure out the mystery before the end, but that is because I've read a lot (a LOT) of mysteries, and I always suspect everybody the main character interacts with and am always looking for a reason for any one of them to have committed the crime.

What made this story particularly intriguing were the interactions (clashes?) between Navajo and Zuni culture, as well as the religious rights and exemptions of the Zuni, and how those at times hindered the investigation. When justice is finally served, it is on their terms and under the radar, which makes for an unusual and somewhat open-ended resolution.

The narrator for the audiobook is perfect for the story. I don't know for sure, but I imagine he must have a Native American background of some sort, because his inflections of their terms ring true. And his narrative style meshes well with the text. This is fortunate, because apparently as of this date, the library ONLY has this available on audiobook.


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