The Fallen Man

The Fallen Man

Investigating the discovery of a skeleton at one of the holiest places in Navajo religion, Jim Chee and the newly retired Joe Leaphorn realize that the body is that of a missing person from one of Joe’s long-unsolved past cases. 350,000 first printing. $300,000 ad/promo. Tour.


  • Publisher: HarperCollins (December 1996)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 1580600506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580600507
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
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  1. It was so nice to catch up with Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee again that the story was almost secondary. Joe has always been my favorite of the two, but Jim Chee’s character really captivated me in this one. Every part of this book has something to recommend it. The mystery is intriguing. The process of solving the mystery is very interesting. And the resolution is perfect when considered in the light of the Navaho search for harmony and balance. All in all, a great read. Now, if Mr. Hillerman could just write them as fast as I read them, all would be well.

  2. Ed Brown ([email protected]) says:

    The value of Fallen Man for me is in the fact that it has once again revived a mental relationship between myself , Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. As a longtime reader of Tony Hillerman, the reunion of these characters to his fictional writings was a welcome event. I must admit I did’nt even read his previous book which left out the famous Navajo sleuths I so enjoy. To see his book Fallen Man featuring the tribal dynamic duo was a happy occasion. While some may find fault with it, in comparison to other Hillerman books, I found it did exactly what I desired. It transported me to that great Southwest, the Four Corners region and the read was filled with history, folklore and tribal “stuff” that I thrive on. May’be I bought the book for it’s primary characters, but nobody can make these characters live like Hillerman. Nobody can make me want to go to Tuba City, or Gallup, or drive down State route 666 like Tony Hillerman. For about three hundred pages I’m transported out of the ordinary routine and placed into the beauty of the Southwest I love. I only wish he could write three a year. I will do exactly with Fallen Man what I have done with all of Hillerman’s books on this topic, when my “Hillerman fix” can’t be satisfied with a new book, I’ll read it again. If you love the Southwest and have a “sixteenth” of Native American in you, like we all say we do, read one of these books and your are hooked forever.

  3. _The Fallen Man_ is not one of Hillerman’s best novels, but it’s almost enough just to see Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn back in action again. The mystery revolves around the newly-discovered skeletal remains of a climber on Shiprock, a sacred site to the Navajo culture. From there, the mystery grows to include Washington lawyers, a suit regarding mineral rights on a Colorado ranch, and a subplot involving cattle rustling. Jim Chee, who has been promoted to replace the retired Joe Leaphorn, must deal with administrative and personnel problems, as well as his collapsing relationship with his girlfriend. Leaphorn, bored by retirement, comes into the case as an outside consultant (almost a private detective–this may be the only way for him to continue showing up in these books).

    I can’t remember Hillerman playing so fairly in giving readers clues to his mysteries before. I had this one figured out about two-thirds of the way in. Still, I read Hillerman more for the settings and characters, and on these counts, _The Fallen Man_ doesn’t disappoint. The only problem is that now we have to wait for the next one

  4. Leaphorn has just retired, but he’s still investigating. Now he’s a consultant to a Washington DC law firm. Chee has been promoted to Acting Lieutenant, doing Leaphorn’s old job, but he hates being an administrator.

    The two men end up working on the same puzzle: was the death of rich young man eleven years earlier a climbing accident or murder?

    Climbers will enjoy reading about the challenges of climbing Ship Rock, a formidable sacred mountain of the Navajos. So should any reader who likes adventure writing.

    There are no ritual dances or healing sings in this book, but there’s a lot about cultural differences. We see the contrast between the rich man’s appetite for toys and the Navajo’s preference for having just what he needs. We watch Jim Chee try to deal with his half-Navajo girlfriend’s attraction to the white life in the fast lane.

    There’s also a very fun new cop introduced in this book: Officer Bernadette Manuelito, who’s young, pretty, and even smarter than Chee.

    And in addition to several murders and shootings, we follow a very interesting cattle rustling case.

    The Fallen Man is yet another terrific book in the Leaphorn and Chee series.

  5. While a good story, and as usual set in the Southwest
    (I live in Santa Fe), this book was not up to the standards
    of plot complexity, suspense and adventure that captivated
    us in his earlier books.

    I was also surprised at the number of writing/editing
    mistakes in the book. For example:

    Page 43 talks bout Mrs. Breedlove’s green eyes, while on the
    next page it refers to her light blue eyes.

    Page 96 refers to Hal Breedlove as Hal McDermott, using the
    last name of the Washington lawyer.

    Page 245 talks about the female officer standing by “his”

    If this book was written by a top notch writer and edited/
    published by a big name publishing house, how did such
    errors get into print? I found no such errors in Hillerman’s
    earlier books.

    I do, however, look forward to his next book.

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