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The Fallen Man Hardcover – November 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006017773X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060177737
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"They sat for a while, engulfed by sunlight, cool air and silence. A raven planed down from the rim, circled around a cottonwood, landed on a Russian olive across the canyon floor and perched, waiting for them to die."

Nobody in the world could have written that paragraph but Tony Hillerman. Two old men sit, surrounded by the natural beauty of Canyon de Chelly, talking about death. The fact that one of the men is Joe Leaphorn, (the Legendary Lieutenant, as his younger colleague Jim Chee irreverently but accurately calls him behind his back) means that something serious has happened--a crime in some way connected to the Navajo people. But Leaphorn has retired from the Navajo Tribal Police, and the only person dead so far is a rich Anglo named Hal Breedlove, who fell while trying to climb Ship Rock 11 years before. Chee is busy on another, more prosaic matter, but he can't resist helping his thorny mentor on Leaphorn's first case as a private detective. The Fallen Man is brisk, beautiful, funny, and poignant--as good a place as any for first-timers to plunge into Hillerman Country. Then they can catch up on past triumphs with Three Joe Leaphorn Mysteries (The Blessing Way/Dance Hall of the Dead/Listening Woman) and Three Jim Chee Mysteries (People of Darkness/The Dark Wind/The Ghostway).

From School Library Journal

YA. The latest Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn mystery has vivid descriptions of Native American mythology and traditions but lacks the suspense and tightly woven plot of the earlier titles in this popular series. A skeleton is found on a high ledge of Ship Rock mountain, a place sacred to the Navahos. Tribal Police Lieutenant Chee and the now retired Leaphorn suspect correctly that it belongs to a wealthy rancher missing for 11 years, and Chee tries to discover if it is murder or an accidental death. Meanwhile, Leaphorn is hired by a lawyer to look into the investigation for the rancher's Eastern family, who want to own his land legally so they can accept a lucrative bid for the mining rights. The obvious suspects, if there was foul play, are the young woman who inherited the ranch and her brother who manages it. In addition to uncovering the cause of death, Chee must determine if the rancher died before or after his 30th birthday when he legally inherited the ranch from a family trust. The continuing rocky romance between Chee and tribal lawyer Janet Pete brings an interesting love angle to the story. Environmentalism and the survival of Native American culture are strong themes.?Penny Stevens, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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More About the Author

Tony Hillerman was the former president of the Mystery Writers of America and received its Edgar® and Grand Master awards. His other honors include the Center for the American Indian's Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe's Special Friend Award. He lived with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

This only the second book by Tony Hillerman that I have read.
Bettylouise
Hillerman has constructed an authentic narrative with action and dialogue that represents the cultural flavor of the characters and the situation.
Orville B. Jenkins
Tony Hillerman is the best, Most authentic writer of the four corners area.
victor ceglady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By N. Sausser on March 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was so nice to catch up with Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee again that the story was almost secondary. Joe has always been my favorite of the two, but Jim Chee's character really captivated me in this one. Every part of this book has something to recommend it. The mystery is intriguing. The process of solving the mystery is very interesting. And the resolution is perfect when considered in the light of the Navaho search for harmony and balance. All in all, a great read. Now, if Mr. Hillerman could just write them as fast as I read them, all would be well.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ed Brown (reverend@ix.netcom.com) on October 7, 1997
Format: Paperback
The value of Fallen Man for me is in the fact that it has once again revived a mental relationship between myself , Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. As a longtime reader of Tony Hillerman, the reunion of these characters to his fictional writings was a welcome event. I must admit I did'nt even read his previous book which left out the famous Navajo sleuths I so enjoy. To see his book Fallen Man featuring the tribal dynamic duo was a happy occasion. While some may find fault with it, in comparison to other Hillerman books, I found it did exactly what I desired. It transported me to that great Southwest, the Four Corners region and the read was filled with history, folklore and tribal "stuff" that I thrive on. May'be I bought the book for it's primary characters, but nobody can make these characters live like Hillerman. Nobody can make me want to go to Tuba City, or Gallup, or drive down State route 666 like Tony Hillerman. For about three hundred pages I'm transported out of the ordinary routine and placed into the beauty of the Southwest I love. I only wish he could write three a year. I will do exactly with Fallen Man what I have done with all of Hillerman's books on this topic, when my "Hillerman fix" can't be satisfied with a new book, I'll read it again. If you love the Southwest and have a "sixteenth" of Native American in you, like we all say we do, read one of these books and your are hooked forever.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1997
Format: Hardcover
_The Fallen Man_ is not one of Hillerman's best novels, but it's almost enough just to see Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn back in action again. The mystery revolves around the newly-discovered skeletal remains of a climber on Shiprock, a sacred site to the Navajo culture. From there, the mystery grows to include Washington lawyers, a suit regarding mineral rights on a Colorado ranch, and a subplot involving cattle rustling. Jim Chee, who has been promoted to replace the retired Joe Leaphorn, must deal with administrative and personnel problems, as well as his collapsing relationship with his girlfriend. Leaphorn, bored by retirement, comes into the case as an outside consultant (almost a private detective--this may be the only way for him to continue showing up in these books).

I can't remember Hillerman playing so fairly in giving readers clues to his mysteries before. I had this one figured out about two-thirds of the way in. Still, I read Hillerman more for the settings and characters, and on these counts, _The Fallen Man_ doesn't disappoint. The only problem is that now we have to wait for the next one
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1996
Format: Hardcover
While a good story, and as usual set in the Southwest
(I live in Santa Fe), this book was not up to the standards
of plot complexity, suspense and adventure that captivated
us in his earlier books.

I was also surprised at the number of writing/editing
mistakes in the book. For example:

Page 43 talks bout Mrs. Breedlove's green eyes, while on the
next page it refers to her light blue eyes.

Page 96 refers to Hal Breedlove as Hal McDermott, using the
last name of the Washington lawyer.

Page 245 talks about the female officer standing by "his"
vehicle.

If this book was written by a top notch writer and edited/
published by a big name publishing house, how did such
errors get into print? I found no such errors in Hillerman's
earlier books.

I do, however, look forward to his next book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John P. Rooney on August 26, 2005
Format: Audio Cassette
"The Fallen Man" by Tony Hillerman, Harper Audio, 1996.

Tony Hillerman has another great mystery novel, with the obligatory dead man being discovered on the mountain known to Whites as Ship Rock. The author traces back eleven years to when the accident occurred, and then develops the reasons why the death could have been premeditated murder. While he is dealing with this murder mystery, Hillerman also develops the characters, so that you feel the sorrow of the widower, the retired Leaphorn, and then understand the anxiety of Acting Lt. Jim Chee as he deals with hard choices of his once and future fiancé (who wants a citified life while Jim wants a Navajo life). I think that Mr. Hillerman develops the Navajo characters better than the white characters, who, really, are just bit-players in the drama being presented. Interestingly, I think that the author truly has presented a romance novel on three levels: the lost love of the widower, Leaphorn; the mixed-up choices of Lt. Chee and the love story of Hal Breedlove and his wife (who remains true to him as a widow for eleven years).

I found this book to be well written and to contain a wealth of information on the Four Corners regions of the United States. All the distance mistakes, etc., that the other reviewers alluded to are hard to discover if you are listening to the book on tape and can not easily refer back to different pages. This book helped me in the traffic, on the trip back and forth, from Plymouth, Massachusetts to Quincy, Massachusetts.
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