I think it would be a good idea to stop comparing James D. Doss with Tony Hillerman.
I believe that James Doss has made quite a name for himself on his own without being compared to any other authors.
This was a very intricate and engrossing book, as are all of his books.
This isn't one of my favorites though, I believe because it involves politics. If you have only read this one and didn't like it you should definitely give this author another try.
He's a very good writer and deserves lots of attention.