From Publishers Weekly
Seven years after the appearance of Kabul , Hirsh pens another mystery with a mission, investigating the use, and restriction, of drugs in official experiments, subliminal messages in alcohol advertising, the fragility of Native American sovereignty and how U.S. business interests and the government can manipulate these arenas to their advantage. Leni Haring, a teacher in New Mexico, is strangled in her home the night before she was to fly to Boston to ask her father, a retired MIT scientist who once had security clearance, if he could find out why an unmarked helicopter is prospecting at night on sacred Hopi land. When Leigh Haring visits her sister's house, she finds a laptop computer and a loaded gun carefully secreted; she cannot find her sister's half-Hopi lover, Ben Naya, because as a prime suspect, he has gone into hiding. With the occasional help of Ed Harris, a friend of Leni and Ben, Leigh probes the mystery of her sister's death and learns an important secret about their family history that Leni kept for years. Readers who want a straightforward, gripping yarn are advised to look elsewhere; those interested in the issues Hirsh raises--and able to bear the prose's intermittent elliptical pretentiousness--may find this mystery-with-a-message worth their while.
From Library Journal
When a college instructor is raped and killed in a small New Mexico town, early reports tagging her as a flaky, drug-dealing flower child suggest that no real investigation will occur. Her Boston sister roars into town to goose the sheriff and discovers a daily journal in the dead woman's laptop computer that rips the field of inquiry so wide open that even national security agents get involved. The computer reveals a secret effort to identify strategic materials located in Hopi sacred grounds; a parallel plot traces the mysterious death of the sisters' mother in the 1960s. Hirsh, author of the well-received Kabul ( LJ 1/86), swirls together ancient elements of Hopi tradition with modern flash and comes up with a sensitive exploration of family, drugged dreams, and the clash of Anglo and Native American cultures. Dense with powerful emotions and well-drawn characters, this fast-paced, insightful novel will have special appeal for Tony Hillerman fans.
New Mexico, ceremooial Indians, and a CIA experimental drug--Hillerman fans will like.