Three men raid the gambling casino run by the Ute nation and then disappear into the maze of canyons on the Utah-Arizona border. When the FBI, with its helicopters and high-tech equipment, focuses on a wounded deputy sheriff as a possible suspect, Navajo Tribal Police Sergeant Jim Chee and his longtime colleague, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, launch an investigation of their own. Chee sees a dangerous flaw in the federal theory; Leaphorn sees intriguing connections to the exploits of a legendary Ute bandit-hero. And together, they find themselves caught up in the most perplexingand deadlycriminal manhunt of their lives.
Part of the appeal of Tony Hillerman's wonderfully satisfying police-procedural novels set in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest that a reader can depend on having certain expectations met. Mr. Hillerman has a knack for making his continuing characters as interesting as the crimes they solve. Even before Chee and Leaphorn are done Hunting Badger, the reader is longing to be with them next ime, patroling those starkly beautiful sagebrush flats and sandstone cliffs.