The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 23, 2015

    Bryan Doerries: IMG Using Greek Tragedies to Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable

    In ancient Athens, during the fifth century BC, military service was required of all citizens. To be a citizen meant being a soldier, and vice... Continue »
    1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
Used Mass Market
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton Mystery- A to Z

More copies of this ISBN

People of Darkness (Jim Chee Novels)


People of Darkness (Jim Chee Novels) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter One

It was a job which required waiting for cultures to grow, for toxins to develop, for antibodies to form, for reagents to react. And while she waited, the bacteriologist would roll her wheelchair to the windows and look down upon the world. The world below was the parking lot of the Cancer Research and Treatment Center, the neighbor of the bacteriologist's Communicable Disease Laboratory on the University of New Mexico North Campus. It was a crowded lot, and a competitive one, and somewhere in the second year of watching it, the bacteriologist found herself familiar with its patterns. She knew when the meter maids made their rounds, and how long it usually took the tow truck to arrive, and what sort of violation provoked this ultimate punishment, and which vehicles tended to park illegally. She even knew of a romance which seemed to have flared between the female owner of a Datsun and the male owner of the blue Mercedes convertible that parked in the space reserved for one of the lofty administrators. Somewhere in that same second year she had started bringing her binoculars to the lab. She had finally left them there. They were in her hands now--focused upon a dirty green pickup truck which was nosing its way hesitatingly into a space guarded by a sign that read:


The bacteriologist had learned long ago that cancer patients tended to be scofflaws. They were dying and they knew it. In the face of that, other considerations became less important. But habits of civilized behavior still generally prevailed. It was rare to see such open defiance as the pickup was now demonstrating.

Thedefiant one was male, an Indian. Through the binoculars he didn't look defiant. He looked stolid and sick. He climbed laboriously from the cab. The bacteriologist noticed a suitcase on the passenger's seat and felt a sudden mild thrill of admiration. He was checking himself in, abandoning his truck forever to the mercies of the law. The nose thumbed at fate. But the Indian left the suitcase behind.

He was a large man, with the heavy torso and slender hips the bacteriologist had learned to identify with Navajos. He wore jeans and--despite the August heat--a denim jacket. He walked slowly toward the patients' entrance--a sick man's walk.

He'll check himself in, the bacteriologist thought, and then he'll come back and get the suitcase, and move the truck.

Now there was another vehicle showing equally blatant illegality. It was a Chevrolet, silver-gray and new, which rolled past the green pickup and came to rest in the space reserved for the CRTC director. The driver's door opened and a slender man emerged, dressed in white, a straw hat pushed back on his head. The man stood for a moment, apparently looking at the pickup truck. Then he walked around his car and opened the door on the passenger's side. He leaned in, apparently working on something on the front seat. Finally he lifted out a grocery sack with its top folded down. He placed it on the bed of the pickup, among the boards and boxes against the cab. That done, he looked around him, studying the parking lot, the sidewalks, staring finally directly toward the bacteriologist. He was very blond, she saw. Almost an albino. Within a minute he was back in the gray Chevy, driving slowly away.

It was almost noon when thebacteriologist determined that the life form that had reproduced itself in her petri dish was not a food-poisoning salmonella but harmless nonpathogenic "Escherichia coli." She made the required notes, completed the report, and pushed her chair back to the window. A tow truck had arrived. The bacteriologist focused her binoculars. The driver's helper was completing the attachment of the towing bar to the rear of the green pickup. He waved his left hand and squatted beside the pickup wheel, watching something. The sound of the tow truck winch was lost to distance and insulated glass. But the bacteriologist could see the rear of the pickup begin to rise.

Abruptly, all vision was lost in a dazzle of light. The sound came a second later--a cannon-shot boom. The glass on the bacteriologist's window was pressed inward to its tolerance and just beyond; it cracked, then flexed violently outward, where its shards joined those of a hundred other windows raining down on the empty sidewalks below.

Chapter Two

The rain converted itself abruptly into a flurry of popcorn snow. It rattled off Jim Chee's uniform hat, bounced down the collar of his uniform jacket, and made him shiver. It was the third day of November by the First National Bank of Grants calendar back on Chee's desk, and the very beginning of the Season When the Thunder Sleeps by the less rigid traditional calendar of the Dinee. By either calendar it was too early for this sort of weather--even at this mile-and-a-half altitude on the slope of Mount Taylor. Howard Morgan had predicted possible snow flurries on his Channel 7 weathercast, but Chee hadn't believed it. He'd left his winter coat back at the police station.

Heglanced at his vehicle--a white Chevrolet with the seal of the Navajo Nation and the legend NAVAJO TRIBAL POLICE blazoned on its door. He could retire to the car and turn on the heater. He could seek shelter at the entryway of the residence of Benjamin J. Vines, and perhaps ring the bell a few more times in the hope of attracting someone. The bell made an odd singing sound which he could hear echoing pleasantly through the heavy door. While it had attracted no response at all, Chee was tempted to ring it again just to hear it. The third alternative was to turn up the collar of his jacket to ward off the sleet and continue satisfying his curiosity about this house.


Who would murder a dying man? Why would someone steal a box of rocks? And why would a rich man's wife pay $3,000 to get them back? These questions haunt Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police as he journeys into the scorching Southwest. But there, out in the Bad Country, a lone assassin waits for Chee to come seeking answers, waits ready and willing to protect a vision of death that for thirty years has been fed by greed and washed in blood.

About the Author

Tony Hillerman is a former president of the Mystery Writers of America and has received its Edgar and Grand Master Awards. His other honors include the Los Angeles Times' Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, 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 lives with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Product Details

Hillerman, Tony
Hillerman, Tony
by Tony Hillerman
New York, NY :
Mystery & Detective - General
Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Chee, jim (fictitious character)
Mystery & Detective - Series
Mystery & detective
Mystery fiction
Navajo Indians
Police procedural
Southwestern States
Navajo Indians -- Fiction.
Chee, Jim
Edition Description:
Mass Market PB
Jim Chee Novels
Series Volume:
bk. 5
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.94x4.34x.81 in. .33 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Listening Woman (Joe Leaphorn Novels) Used Mass Market $3.50
  2. Dance Hall of the Dead (Joe Leaphorn... Used Mass Market $3.95
  3. Skinwalkers (Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee... Used Mass Market $1.50
  4. Smokescreen Used Mass Market $2.50
  5. Yellow Dog Party (Thomas Black... Used Mass Market $1.95
  6. Judgment Calls Used Mass Market $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

People of Darkness (Jim Chee Novels) Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages HarperTorch - English 9780061099151 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Who would murder a dying man? Why would someone steal a box of rocks? And why would a rich man's wife pay $3,000 to get them back? These questions haunt Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police as he journeys into the scorching Southwest. But there, out in the Bad Country, a lone assassin waits for Chee to come seeking answers, waits ready and willing to protect a vision of death that for thirty years has been fed by greed and washed in blood.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at