"Michael McGarrity is the real deal." —Boston Globe
With his dazzling debut, Tularosa, Michael McGarrity was hailed "a born storyteller" (Denver Post)—and introduced readers to a memorable new hero, ex-Santa Fe chief of detectives Kevin Kerney. Now, featuring his vivid feel for the southwest, McGarrity's second gripping novel hurls Kerney onto the toughest case of his life.
Taking a job as a seasonal forest ranger in New Mexico's Gila Wilderness, Kevin Kerney is looking forward to a quiet summer high in the mountains. But the murder of a Mexican tourist, and the discovery of a disoriented old man in the wild, thrust Kerney into an investigation that will carry him back in time to a sixty-year-old feud between two land-rich brothers, Edgar and Eugene Cox.
Enlisting young state game and fish officer Jim Stiles to help solve the crimes, Kerney slowly uncovers evidence connecting the ruthless Cox feud with another suspicious death—and the radical actions of New Mexico's present-day county militia. But new assistant district attorney Karen Cox—Edgar's alluring daughter—is torn between hiding her father's long-buried secret and helping Kerney find the truth. Now someone wants Kerney dead—and the deeper he investigates, the more he may be digging his own grave...
McGarrity delivers on the promise of his accomplished debut in Tularosa (1996) with his second Kevin Kerney novel. A large cast of tough, believable characters brings life to a complex, action-filled plot that combines animal poaching, smuggling and the activities of present-day anti-environmentalists in the West with cattle theft and land-grabbing during the Depression. Kevin is working temporarily for the Forest Service in western New Mexico's Gila Wilderness. While tracing a missing tagged cougar with Fish and Game Department officer Jim Stiles, Kevin discovers a dying elderly Mexican tourist, Jose Padilla, and Jose's murdered grandson, Hector. The sheriff and Assistant DA Karen Cox ask Kevin to investigate. The physical attraction between Kevin and Karen is cooled by their discovery of an old relationship between the Padillas and Karen's father, Edgar, and his twin, her uncle Eugene, who have been feuding for 60 years. The plot intensifies: Jim is ambushed, Kevin's trailer is bombed, they jeopardize an FBI undercover operation while seeking an elusive wildlife smuggler. Luck and good police work, however, lead them to the links among the murders, missing animals and the Coxes. Although McGarrity sets up some eyebrow-raising coincidences (as a teenager, Kevin beat Karen's cousin in a rodeo competition), he ingeniously orchestrates character, place, action, history and relationships into another outstanding novel. Author tour.
Good read. Reminds me of the characters of Longmire and the writing style of Craig Johnson. Anxious to complete the Kevin Kerney series so I can get to the Hard Country trilogy. I feel another Lonesome Dove mini-series could be in the making.