Looking at some of the lukewarm reviews of this book, I discovered that I evidently liked it better than many readers. Truth is I haven't disliked any...moreLooking at some of the lukewarm reviews of this book, I discovered that I evidently liked it better than many readers. Truth is I haven't disliked any of the volumes in the Kevin Kerney series.
This story, number eight in the series, opens with a brutal killing in downtown Santa Fe. It soon becomes clear that a serial killer is at work and that Kerney as well as his family are the ultimate targets. The police procedural aspects are covered in great detail while the tension mounts as Kerney's horse, Soldier, is killed and dead rats are left on his doorstep. Eventually the killer calls Kerney directly while the body count is rising and both local and state police try to identify who could be on a mission of revenge.
The sub-plot involving Kerney's relationship with his very pregnant wife, Col Sara Brannon, drags in spots but also shows how external forces can affect people. The action moves all around New Mexico before returning to Santa Fe as those working on the case close in on the perpetrator.
McGarrity does a good job of shifting between Kerney and the killer. That way we can get a sense of what's going on in the killer's twisted mind.
There's enough background detailed in the book that a reader would not be disappointed dipping into the Kerney series here.(less)
This book introduces a new character to the C.J.Box lexicon, Deputy Sheriff Cody Hoyt, an alcoholic from a less than desirable background and a disgra...moreThis book introduces a new character to the C.J.Box lexicon, Deputy Sheriff Cody Hoyt, an alcoholic from a less than desirable background and a disgraced ex-Denver detective.
The story starts fast, kind of drags in the middle and ends on a high note. The middle part is the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of five.
The story opens when Cody’s good friend and AA mentor, Hank Winters, is found burned to death in his cabin. Everything points to an accidental death or suicide but Hoyt doesn't buy it. He enlists his reluctant partner, detective Larry Olson, to prove it was murder. In the process he angers his boss, is suspended for shooting the Coroner while in an alcoholic haze and decides to pursue his hunch, especially when he discovers the murderer might be on the same wilderness trip in Yellowstone National Park as his son Justin.
The plot unfolds from there using the literary convention of jumping between the wilderness trip and Hoyt's travails trying to catch up with his son in alternate chapters. Box also takes this opportunity to introduce a couple sub-plots involving others on the trip.
In the last quarter of the book, the action picks up to a furious pace eventually coming to a satisfactory conclusion that ties up all the loose ends and there are more than a few of them.
I enjoyed the book immensely and can highly recommend it. I've only read a couple of Box's Joe Pickett novels but this book while featuring a very different sort of character is at least as satisfying as the other Box authored books I've read. (less)
Not one of McGarrity's best but an interesting read, nevertheless. This is the 10th entry in the Kevin Kearny adventures, all of which have been prett...moreNot one of McGarrity's best but an interesting read, nevertheless. This is the 10th entry in the Kevin Kearny adventures, all of which have been pretty solid stories.
As background: Kearny is the chief of police in Santa Fe, NM, married to Sara Brannon, a career military woman. In this volume,a sub-plot involving Sara takes up a good part of the story and, in truth, is more interesting than the major plot.
The story begins when Kearny is visited by a high school buddy - a black sheep - who is now producing a movie. He hires Kearny as a law-enforcement consultant as the movie is being shot in New Mexico. On his way to the movie site, Kearny stumbles across a dead body and gets involved in an immigrant smuggling investigation as well as a cigarette smuggling operation.
Far too much time is spent on describing both the scenery and the movie-making process. There are a few interesting characters, particularly the local sheriff and the usual Federal law enforcement jerks that often appear in stories of this sort. The ending is sort of inconclusive and disappointing.
It would be a mistake, though, to avoid the whole series based on this one book.(less)