Tony Hillerman: A Critical Companion

By John M. Reilly | Go to book overview
Save to active project

4

The Fly on the Wall
(1971)

Hillerman’s second novel in the crime and mystery genre now appears unusual among his works. Unlike most of the novels that to date have followed it, The Fly on the Wall contains no Native American material. Instead, it draws on Hillerman’s fourteen years’ experience as a political reporter, writer, and editor to create the story of a journalist working against time and mortal danger to complete an investigation of government corruption.

According to Hillerman, the order of publication for his first works confuses his original idea. His plan, when he first decided to write a novel, was for ‘‘a big, important book,’’ a mystery on the subject of The Fly on the Wall. Not sure of his talent for mysteries, Hillerman tried out first what at the time he thought was easier to do, which it is surprising to realize was The Blessing Way (Companion 55). In any case, the tryout proved he could manage the genre’s requirements, and so he resumed his original plan.

Compared to the popular reception Hillerman has won for the Navajo books, The Fly on the Wall has not, in fact, turned out to be his ‘‘big’’ novel or his most important. It is, however, an excellent example of suspenseful, puzzle-based detection fiction displaying a high order of narrative skill.

-35-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Tony Hillerman: A Critical Companion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 221

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?