Sacred Bridge
by Hillerman, Anne

Sergeant Jim Chee, after visiting the sacred Rainbow bridge, investigates the death of a Navajo artist, putting his own life at risk, while Officer Bernadette Manuelito searches for the killer of a hitchhiker connected to a Navajo Nation cannabis enterprise.

Even though he sorely needs a break from his job with the Navajo Nation police, Sgt. Jim Chee, hiking the area around Lake Powell alone, really misses his wife, Officer Bernadette Manuelito. Little does he know that their separation is about to get much more fraught. A fresh corpse Jim finds in the lake turns out to be that of Curtis Walker, the younger brother of Bernie's clan brother, Doug Walker. At first glance Curtis appears to have drowned, and no wonder, since he couldn't swim. But he's actually died from head injuries inflicted before he tumbled into the lake. Deputized by Park Service chief ranger Ted Morris to put a sympathetic face on the questions that must be put to Doug's Navajo connections, Jim finds himself with an embarrassment of riches, since Doug's work with Laguna Blue Watercraft Sales and Rental, his brother's Antelope Canyon Tours, and aging archaeologist Dr. Peter Hendrix provide possible motives for his murder ranging from bad romance to ecopolitics. While Jim is talking to a bevy of interested parties, Bernie is plopped into a case of her own when a hitchhiker who's pleaded for her help is run over repeatedly by a Mercedes that speeds away before she can identify the driver. Because of persistent rumors of skulduggery at Dino Begay Perez's K' Hemp Farm, a task force is assembled to investigate possible links between KHF and the dead man, and Bernie's asked to go undercover as a casual worker at the farm to gather information. What, as even she wonders explicitly, could go wrong? An overcrowded, overplotted, and depressingly timely mashup of personal and systemic crimes. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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