See all titles by Tony Hillerman
This departure from Hillerman's extraordinarily popular
Chee/Leaphorn duo has resulted in what is undoubtedly
one of Hillerman's most affecting, strongest, best-told tales yet. Set
in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War, the story follows Colorado
newspaper editor Malcolm "Moon" Mathias, who labors under the
misapprehension that he's "third-rate" --unsuccessful in his career,
unlucky in love, and unwise about life.
As the story begins, Moon gets a
call from an "L.A." hospital reporting that his mother has collapsed at
the airport after suffering a serious heart attack. She was headed for
the Philippines, so Moon figures her trip must have had something to do
with his younger brother, Ricky, a former air force pilot who had set up
his own transport business in Vietnam, then died in a plane crash. When
Moon reaches "L.A.", he finds papers in his mother's purse that reveal
Ricky was the father of a Vietnamese daughter--whom Moon's mother was
obviously on her way to rescue. Of course, responsibility for finding
the baby falls on Moon's capable shoulders.
And it's on his
heartrending, dangerous, surprising journey into his brother's past on
the Mekong Delta that Moon eventually finds not only the child, but his
own destiny. A tragic tale of war, a suspenseful adventure story, a
gripping journey into man's deepest fears, and an engrossing love story.