Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman

Title: Listening Woman (Navajo Mysteries, #3)
Author: Tony Hillerman
Published: 1978
Genre: Fiction: Mystery
Pages: 289
Rating: ***
listening womanThe state police and FBI are baffled when an old man and a teenage girl are brutally murdered. The blind Navajo Listening Woman speaks of ghosts and of witches. But Lieutenant Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police knows his people as well as he knows cold-blooded killers. His incredible investigation carries him from a dead man’s secret to a kidnap scheme, to a conspiracy that stretches back more than one hundred years. Leaphorn arrives at the threshold of a solution—and is greeted with the most violent confrontation of his career. (from Goodreads)


Thoughts: Hosteen Tso is an old Navajo, guarding a secret over one hundred years old. Believing he has been cursed by a witch, he enlists the blind healer Listening Woman, and her young teenage assistant, to cure him. When Listening Woman leaves Tso’s hogan to communicate with the earth to find out the treatment for his illness, Tso and teenager are savagely murdered. With no witnesses and clues, the case grows cold. Months later Joe Leaphorn revisits the case and connects it to a high-profile bank robbery, a missing helicopter, and an Indian terrorist organization, and sets off to find the killer.
     First off, I should make clear that I am not a great fan of mysteries. Out of all genres, reading a mystery would probably be my last choice, which is strange because mysteries makes up 95% of what my mother reads! Anyway, I chose to read this book not because it’s a mystery but because I was interested about how Hillerman would incorporate Navajo culture into the storyline, which turned out to be my favorite part of the book and not the mystery itself.  However, overall I did enjoy the book. In the beginning I was wondering how Hillerman would resolve all the plot issues in such a slim book but I quickly discovered how  tightly written the book was; there wasn’t a sentence that didn’t advance the plot forward. I prefer more inner thought in regards to characters and not so much extremely plot driven books, but overall I was satisfied. I’ve heard that once you’ve read a few of Hillerman’s mysteries you’ve read them all, which might be true, but I have two other books in the series by him which I will most likely read.
     Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t overtly suspenseful, or even, truth be told memorable, but it was a quick light read- one of those books that you enjoy while your reading and then promptly forget about, which turned out to be what I needed. I’ll most likely read the other two books I have by him when I need a break from heavier reading. I’m currently reading the first Harry Potter book in Spanish and am about to start Middlemarch, which my mom just read (surprisingly) and was underwhelmed by, so I might be reading another one his books sooner than I think!

About hillarypat

I'm a recent college graduate and this is my blog where I talk about whatever happens to be on my mind- mostly books!
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, Mystery and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman

  1. Pingback: June Roundup and Looking Towards July! | ahorseandacarrot

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