"Magennis brings a kind of poetic excitement to the landscape from the very first page…she has a talent for crisp dialogue, tight narrative and vivid characterization."
"Alibi Creek is superb, spellbinding…"
—THE UTAH REVIEW
"Something of a southwestern gothic, drawing inspiration from the spare depictions of the West in the novels of Annie Proulx and its familial drama from the likes of Faulkner, O'Connor, and their ilk…[Alibi Creek] excels in its open–eyed portrayals of a land largely left untamed."
"A saga set in the wilds of New Mexico…Lee Ann is a heroine readers will root for."
"Magennis is a yarn spinner with a passion for the southwestern wilderness, the people who inhabit unlimited space, and drama created in a setting that allows for complete freedom. A book that will take you to a wild place, seldom visited and captivatingly portrayed."
—JEFFERY RENARD ALLEN, author of Song of the Shank and Rails Under My Back
"In Alibi Creek, Bev Magennis captures the grit and sinew of men and women raised in the hardscrabble West. The land produces both good and evil, and Magennis's characters as well as her story are as authentic as the sagebrush of the western landscape."
—SANDRA DALLAS, New York Times bestselling author of True Sisters
"…a novel about boundaries and belonging and facing up to when the old excuses no longer wash."
—CHARLIE QUIMBY, author of Monument Road
"This stunning debut transforms and arrests the reader, the story stays with you long after you turn the last page."
—LIBBY FLORES, PEN Center USA
Following a two-year prison stint, charming and wily Walker returns to his family's New Mexico ranch, where his pious older sister Lee Ann is busy caring for their mother, raising two sons, and grappling with unethical workplace demands. Walker's illegal activities quickly incite chaos in the town and Lee Ann's marriage, leading to drastic transformations of beliefs, identities, and relationships.
Bev Magennis was born in Toronto, Ontario, and immigrated to the US in 1964. She received her MA in Art from the Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. After a thirty-five-year career as an artist, she started writing, inspired by the land and people in the New Mexico wilderness where she lived for seventeen years. In 2009 she was accepted to the Iowa Writers' Workshop Summer Graduate Class and in 2010 was awarded an eight-month Pen USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. In 2011 she received a Norman Mailer Writers Colony Fiction Fellowship. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A solid, if slightly heavy-handed saga set in the wilds of New Mexico, Magennis's novel chronicles the family of the rather unconvincingly pious Lee Ann, whose routine on the Walker Ranch is upended by the return of her prodigal brother, Walker, just released from jail. Lee Ann had enough on her hands already, juggling the care of their ailing mother with her job at the corrupt Dax County Commissioner's office. She's resented her golden-boy brother from the get-go, and now he's back causing the same commotion he did as a kid. Her husband, Eugene not the father of her two sturdy sons, but a loving and stable replacement dad gets fed up with Walker, and after Walker and his ex-wife pull a fast one on Owen Plank, their neighbor, selling Plank's land out from under him, Eugene leaves Lee Ann in disgust, claiming she lets her brother, her job, her God everything but him pull her strings. Matters escalate with the inevitable confrontation between the siblings. The author's metaphors are a bit obvious, but Lee Ann is a heroine readers will root for.