Book Review: Spider Woman's Daughter by: Anne Hillerman


Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Harper

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Format:  Hardcover

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: It happened in an instant: After a breakfast with colleagues, Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito saw a truck squeal into the parking lot and heard a crack of gunfire. When the dust cleared, someone very close to her was lying on the asphalt in a pool of blood.

With the victim in the hospital fighting for his life, every officer in the squad and the local FBI office are hellbent to catch the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations strictly forbidding eyewitness involvement. Her superior may have ordered her to take some leave, but that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is put in charge of finding the shooter.

Pooling their skills, Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key to the shooting. Digging into the old investigation with fresh eyes and a new urgency, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth with every clue . . . and closer to a killer who will do anything to prevent justice from taking its course.

Review: ‘Spider Woman’s Daughter’ is the return of tribal detectives Leaphorn and Chee, but the story is really told through Navajo Police Officer Bernadette Manualito who happens to be Chee’s wife. When Leaphorn is attacked right in front of Bernie, she’s determined not to let go of the investigation no matter what her captain says. Bernie also has an ill mother and an ungrateful sister who pulls a lot of her attention, but they are family and in the Navajo Nation family is everything. As the investigation continues, there are too many coincidences to be coincidence. I was quickly drawn into the Navajo world Ms. Hillerman created and even though I’d never read any of the other Leaphorn and Chee novels, I didn’t feel as if I missed anything. I loved how ‘Spider Woman’s Daughter’ focused on a strong female Navajo officer and I hope Ms. Hillerman keeps Bernie as the main character in her further novels.

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