Title: The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman
Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Series Book Seven
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
An ancient mystery resurfaces with ramifications for the present day in this gripping chapter in the Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series from New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman.
Sergeant Jim Chee’s vacation to beautiful Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell has a deeper purpose. He’s on a quest to unravel a sacred mystery his mentor, the Legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, stumbled across decades earlier.
Chee’s journey takes a deadly turn when, after a prayerful visit to the sacred Rainbow Bridge, he spots a body floating in the lake. The dead man, a Navajo with a passion for the canyon’s ancient rock art, lived a life filled with many secrets. Discovering why he died and who was responsible involves Chee in an investigation that puts his own life at risk.
Back in Shiprock, Officer Bernadette Manuelito is driving home when she witnesses an expensive sedan purposely kill a hitchhiker. The search to find the killer leads her to uncover a dangerous chain of interconnected revelations involving a Navajo Nation cannabis enterprise.
But the evil that is unleashed jeopardizes her mother and sister Darleen, and puts Bernie in the deadliest situation of her law enforcement career.
The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman is a suspenseful mystery. Although this latest release is the seventh installment in the Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series, it easily stands on its own.
After a much-needed vacation, Navajo Nation tribal police Sergeant Jim Chee stays for a few extra days while his wife Officer Bernadette “Bernie” Manuelito and her sister Darleen return to their home in Shiprock. Jim is at a bit of a crossroads as he decides whether or not he wants to remain in law enforcement. While out hiking, he spots a body floating in Lake Powell. Although he is out of his jurisdiction, Jim agrees to assist Park Ranger Ted Morris and Sheriff Bo Carter in the investigation into Curtis Walker’s death.
While her husband finds himself in the midst of an unexpected case, Bernie is on her way to work when she spots a man who appears to be in some kind of trouble. Before she can get any helpful information from him, he becomes the victim of a deliberate hit and run. Fully invested in finding out who murdered the unidentified man, Bernie becomes involved in an investigation of a local hemp farm run by Dino Begay Perez. But the case is quickly complicated by Dino’s friends and family’s concern about his whereabouts. Then there is an unexpected discovery in the hit and run victim’s belongings. Bernie goes undercover at the hemp operation in order to uncover the truth about Dino’s whereabouts and the suspicious goings on the farm.
The Sacred Bridge is an intriguing mystery with fascinating story arcs. Jim, Bernie and Darleen are well-drawn, multi-layered characters who continue to grow and evolve. The various settings are interesting and spring vividly to life. As in previous novels, the Native American elements provide readers with riveting details about the Navajo culture. The storyline is engrossing and while some elements are easy to predict, this does not lessen the story’s enjoyment. As a dangerous situation heats up, Anne Hillerman brings this brilliant mystery to a breathless conclusion. Old and new fans enjoy this latest addition to the stellar Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series.