December 22, 2006
MarkBernstein.org
 
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The Shapeshifter

by Tony Hillerman

Hillerman tries his hand at a bit of narrative experimentation -- in this case, a mystery thriller told entirely in flashback, as Joe Leaphorn tells Jim Chee and his new wife Bernie about what Leaphorn was doing while the newlyweds were enjoying their Hawaiian honeymoon. Hillerman's sense of place is unmatched, and continues to be the principal delight of his writing. The plot, this time, has holes, but it's good to see Hillerman again turn outward from his heroes' psyches and look around the rest of the reservation.