First book in the Posadas County Mystery Series
When a series of crimes disrupts the tranquil community in Posadas County, New Mexico, a group of small-town cops will have to fight for their lives to keep the county safe
Posadas County, New Mexico, has very few mean streets and no city-slick cop shop. But it has an earnest, elected County Sheriff and his aging Undersheriff—William C. Gastner. Pushing sixty, widower Bill has no other life than in law enforcement—and doesn't want one, even if he's being nudged gently toward retirement. Then big time trouble strikes.
A car full of teens, running from a stop by Deputy Torrez, goes air-borne into a rocky outcrop, killing all five kids and revealing a package of cocaine under the seat. Has someone brought big-time crime to the small town?
Bill is now dealing with grieving parents—one of whom starts packing a gun. Then a second explosion of violence fells an undercover cop.
Under pressure, local law enforcement pulls together to make a formidable team. Its weak spot may be Bill whose mind is too tough to crumble but whose body, long mistreated, gradually succumbs to stress. Ignoring all advice—and sense—he pilots the case to a final dramatic, midair confrontation where the fate of the killer—and the cop—will be decided....
The first book in Steven F. Havill's Posadas County Mysteries finds aging Undersheriff Bill Gastner struggling against a rising tide of violent crime. Will the burned-out cop be able to handle the heat?
Check out the beginning of the iconic Posadas County Mystery Series:
•Perfect for fans of C.J. Box and Michael McGarrity
•For readers who enjoy police procedurals and Southwest desert mysteries
Septuagenarian undersheriff Bill Gastner of Posadas County, N.M., is the skeptical, endearing narrator of this mystery debut by a writer of Westerns ( Timberblood ). Conscious of advancing age and his bulging waistline, Gastner distrusts both computers and the skills of newly elected sheriff Martin Holman, a former used-car salesman. When a large stash of cocaine is found in the car of five teenagers killed in a crash, local officials are stymied. A young state cop is brought in to mingle with the victims's friends, posing as Gastner's grandson. In short order, a grief-stricken father shoots the undercover cop, a moody teenager dies in a suspicious ``suicide,'' and Gastner has a heart attack. Eventually Gastner, the surprisingly capable Holman and detective Estelle Reyes expose a complicated drug-smuggling operation. Airplanes, real and model, loom large in the denouement and the climactic flying sequence is a corker. If the villain's identity is not surprising, readers still will enjoy this caper and look forward to future appearances of curmudgeonly charmer Gastner.