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Under the Color of Law (Kevin Kerney, #6)
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Under the Color of Law (Kevin Kerney #6)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  647 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Newly-installed Santa Fe police chief Kevin Kerney receives a deadly welcome when a U.S. ambassador's ex-wife is brutally stabbed to death in her home. But before Kerney can begin to investigate, the FBI closes the case with trumped-up evidence. And the harder Kerney hunts for the truth, the more he knows that he may not survive the chase.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Dutton (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mary Sue
Jul 25, 2007 Mary Sue rated it really liked it
I love a sense of place in a book and McGarrity never fails me. For those who love the range of beauty of New Mexico this is the series of books for you (Kevin Kerney mysteries)
Aug 09, 2008 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Really enjoy the McGarrity books, he's onto a winer with this series of detective novels. However, the plot for this was a wee bit far-fetched, even though well-written. Hang on and go along for the ride, remembering it is fiction, after all.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2009 Barb rated it liked it
i read several in this author's series about a good cop who maintains a long distance relationship with his wife in the service. good police detective reading, some personal paast relationships examined. good book for relaxing, plot not hard to follow - may not win any awards, but it offers entertainment for an insomniac
Ryan Mishap
Nov 03, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it
I actually read this one first and I always enjoy it when corrupt cops are gunned down...oops! spoiler alert!
Dec 24, 2008 Wendell rated it it was ok
A perfectly pedestrian police procedural. Don't be fooled by the New Mexico setting; it doesn't save this book from itself.
Jul 05, 2009 Ed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Action, suspense fans.
The best McGarrity I've read - very exciting with a little letdown at the end.

The story revolves around two murders that appear to be unrelated. They turn out to be involved with National Security and as the body count rises begin to look like part of a massive cover up.

There are two sub-plots. One focuses on Kevin Kerney's attempt to get off on the right foot as the new Santa Fe police chief. The other is Kerney's evolving relationship with his wife, Sara Bannon, a career army officer and newly
Bob rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2009
Joe O'c
Sep 07, 2009 Joe O'c rated it really liked it
Excellent; continuing character: Kevin Kerney; New Mexico police chief attempts to solve murders of diplomat's wife and Christian brother, and ends up tying them to a government conspiracy.
Aug 18, 2011 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Kerney is just getting started as the new Chief of Police when the wealthy estranged wife of a former ambassador is found dead in her home. Almost before the investigation gets started the FBI and various other agencies descend on the scene and take over the investigation, leaving Kevin and his detectives pushed to the side. This does not sit well with Kevin and when what little information he gets from the FBI agents starts to contradict what he and his men have uncovered he gets increasi ...more
Dec 18, 2011 Jody rated it it was amazing
Looking forward to reading Mr. McGarrity's previous and future books. I couldn't put this one down.
Sherri Vigil
I thought because of the location of this book I would really enjoy it, however, it was predictable and a bit out there for New Mexico.
I'm undecided about reading more of this series.
Sep 29, 2012 Jmrathbone rated it did not like it
This novel was a complete disappointment. I have read and enjoyed six of Michael McGarrity’s novels, but in this one he seemed out of his element. The only reason I finished it was because I didn’t have anything else to read.
Apr 03, 2013 Carol rated it liked it
I don't know how to review this book? There was a number of strands to the plot, maybe too many? The ending seemed rushed and Sara's role in this book was a bit contrived. However, the pace of the book was excellent, the helplessness Kerney felt in the situation and the real life way he dealt with an unwinnable situation and even the fact that everything wasn't neatly wrapped up at the end of the book, made it another enjoyable addition to this excellent series.
Jan 24, 2014 K rated it it was amazing
Disappointing ending but otherwise, one of the most entertaining Kevin Kearney episodes I've read. Fast paced and an intriguing plot. Enjoy!
May 23, 2014 Terry rated it liked it
This was a good book. Very suspenseful. Had
to drop it to a 3 star because of all the
undercover stuff. Got very confusing, with
a lot of unanswered questions at the end.
Love the series, though!
Julia Pearson
Julia Pearson rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2014
Jan 25, 2014 Jamie rated it did not like it

This was a bit meh, I couldn't really get into it and I was glad when I got to the end.

Set in New Mexico, it does give a lot of local description but it feels like tourist information rather than a sense of being there.

I think maybe it could have been a hundred or so pages shorter, it wraps up fairly neatly but rambles a bit too much...we don't need details of every word they scribble down in a meeting.

It ends with a blatant lead into another book in the series but I don't think I'd be reading m
May 24, 2014 Robb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced and riveting in suspense.

This is my fourth Kevin Kerney novel and so far this surpasses the others I have read. There is so much going on in the novel it feels sometimes like an adrenaline rush . This would make a great film or TV movie. Kevin Kerney is a winner and a hero to the law enforcement community. This will not disappoint. I will probably read the entire series of books as they are that well-written. Bravo!
Michael Sump
Sep 16, 2014 Michael Sump rated it really liked it
“The Color of the Law,” by Michael McGarrity is good. McGarrity's series follows the law enforcement career of Kevin Kerney, who is the newly appointed Chief of Police of Santa Fe, NM in this novel. [Spoiler Alert] He and his wife, an army Lt. Colonel, are in over their heads as they battle corrupt army intelligence officers and rogue CIA agents. Kevin is trying to make good as the new COP in Santa Fe but here he must battle fake FBI agents, misdirection, and all the powers of the federal govern ...more
Mike Ely
Mar 28, 2015 Mike Ely rated it really liked it
Another really good book by Michael McGarrity. This one took a little longer to build the story, and it wrapped up a little too quickly in the end, but it kept me guessing and was well-thought out overall. I'd recommend this to any mystery fans.
Tom Ferguson
Apr 15, 2015 Tom Ferguson rated it really liked it
Under The Color Of Law is the sixth in the Kevin Kerney crime series. Of the first six novels this one is the fastest paced and, probably, the most complex. I was a bit disappointed with the ending as I viewed it as a breach of Kerney's ethical standard to end as it does. Also, I wasn't really jazzed about the involvement of Kerney's wife in the conclusion - but then I'm not the author. Overall, this is a fast paced story with great government secrets, lots of professional hits and Kerney giving ...more
Caroline rated it it was ok
Jul 12, 2015
May 19, 2015 Helen rated it liked it
This mystery was a lot of fun and better than a 3 but not quite a 4 star. Highly entertaining and recommended.
Janet Roop
Jul 02, 2015 Janet Roop rated it really liked it
Reading this in paperback on vacation while by the pool and my library book on my Kindle on our balcony. Enjoyed this one more! Kevin Kerney is an well developed character and New Mexico an interesting setting. The mystery was not obvious even though the dual between local law enforcement and the FBI is too common in books in my opinion. I want to read more in this series. I believe the earlier books include Native American traditions, something I always enjoyed in Tony Hillerman's books.
Jul 14, 2015 Sherry added it
The sixth in a series of Kevin Kerney mysteries. I picked the first one as a book club read. These mysteries are set in New Mexico with places I'm familiar. They always have complicated plots and lots of possibilities. Another good read.
Oct 07, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#6 in the Kevin Kearney series.

Kevin Kerney series - In his previous job as deputy chief of the state police, Kerney killed a cop gone bad. Now he is settling into his new job as police chief of Santa Fe, N.Mex., and his new subordinates are of two minds whether they should trust him or not. They have ample opportunity to observe him in action, because Phyllis Terrell, the estranged wife of an ambassador and ex-military honcho, is found stabbed to death in the kitchen of her hilltop mansion, and
Sep 01, 2016 Tim rated it it was ok
After what I consider a slow start mixed with some craziness, this story picks up steam until the less than fulfilling ending. Nonetheless, 5 of 10 stars
Good long road trip listening, New Mexico was our goal -- New Mexico writer ...
Gordon Shaffer
Oct 18, 2016 Gordon Shaffer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Best so Far

Unfortunately, I found the scenarios involving our government and the collection of information on the citizens of our country all too real and all too possible. I'm 67 years old, so, I'm close to the end of my time on mortal earth, but, I fear greatly for the futures of my kids and particularly for my grandkids as we continue down the road of government intrusion into our lives. The 2016 Presidential election could be our last chance to stem the tide. The quality of the President
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With the publication of Tularosa in 1996, Michael McGarrity turned to writing full time. Many of his novels have been national best sellers. He holds a BA with distinction in psychology and a master's degree in clinical social work. As an undergraduate, he held a Ford Foundation Scholarship at the University of New Mexico. Additionally, he is an honor graduate of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Aca ...more
More about Michael McGarrity...

Other Books in the Series

Kevin Kerney (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Tularosa (Kevin Kerney, #1)
  • Mexican Hat (Kevin Kerney, #2)
  • Serpent Gate (Kevin Kerney, #3)
  • Hermit's Peak (Kevin Kerney, #4)
  • The Judas Judge (Kevin Kerney, #5)
  • The Big Gamble (Kevin Kerney, #7)
  • Everyone Dies (Kevin Kerney, #8)
  • Slow Kill (Kevin Kerney, #9)
  • Nothing But Trouble (Kevin Kerney, #10)
  • Death Song (Kevin Kearney, #11)

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