The First Eagle

Tony Hillerman

HarperCollins 1998
A book review by Danny Yee © 1999
When Jim Chee finds a Hopi eagle poacher next to the body of a murdered police officer, the case seems straight-forward — even if Jim's ex-lover Janet Pete is the defence lawyer. At the same time Joe Leaphorn, now retired, is hired to find a scientist who has gone missing while tracking plague outbreaks. The two cases turn out to be connected, of course.

The First Eagle is not as gripping as some of Hillerman's novels: genuine suspense and tension are limited, with our heroes never in real danger. There's enough to the plot to keep us turning the pages, however, and Hillerman as always offers plenty more. As well as ongoing personal relationships and the detailed setting (Navajo and Hopi culture and the natural landscape of the Southwest), here we also get a glimpse into the world of science. Newcomers will probably be better off starting with one of the earlier novels, but Hillerman fans won't be disappointed by The First Eagle.

June 1999

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%T The First Eagle
%A Hillerman, Tony
%I HarperCollins
%D 1998
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0006513115
%P 278pp