Scavengers (Posadas County Mystery Series #1)

Scavengers (Posadas County Mystery Series #1)

4.5 6
by Steven F. Havill
     
 

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A man's body is found in the unforgiving New Mexico desert, his face so smashed that identification is impossible. It's the beginning of a brutal murder spree that will soon take Posadas County's new undersheriff, Estelle Reyes-Guzman, into a case that has roots on both sides of the border.
 
With retired Sheriff Bill Gastner — now a livestock

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Overview

A man's body is found in the unforgiving New Mexico desert, his face so smashed that identification is impossible. It's the beginning of a brutal murder spree that will soon take Posadas County's new undersheriff, Estelle Reyes-Guzman, into a case that has roots on both sides of the border.
 
With retired Sheriff Bill Gastner — now a livestock inspector for the state — still close at hand to offer unerring logic and horse sense, Reyes-Guzman attempts to identify the "Juan" Doe. Another body turns up in a shallow grave, revealing little about the killer, but more about the victims. And when a suspicious fire takes a third life, the terrible twist finally offers the break Estelle has been looking for, one that will lead her back into a harsh, merciless desert where death welcomes all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
". . . consistently good writing, colorful cast, and dead-one sense of place." — Kirkus Reviews of Scavengers

"Solid groundwork for a new series." — Library Journal of Scavengers

Publishers Weekly
In his 10th entertaining outing (after last year's Bag Limit), Havill's laconic hero, Bill Gastner, after retiring as sheriff of Posadas County (N.Mex.), has become the state livestock inspector, while the mother of his godchildren, Estelle Reyes-Guzman, has assumed the post of undersheriff for the county. The new sheriff, Bob Torrez, has picked a fine time to attend a training conference. When a student pilot spots a corpse on the desert floor, Estelle steps into the beginning of a crime spree that will soon cover both sides of the nearby Mexican border. When a second body turns up and a suspicious fire takes a third life, Torrez cuts his trip short and returns to assist his investigators. Spanish text dots the pages, lending the flavor of old Mexico to the author's finely woven plot. When Estelle requests information from Mexico's police force, Captain Tom s Naranjo offers not only his assistance but news of a south-of-the-border homicide that may be connected to Posadas County's latest victims. The answers begin to take shape with the removal of two small clues from a pickup caught sneaking away from the taped-off desert crime scene. Skilled investigation, happenstance and cooperation mesh through every phase of the puzzle, ushering the reader along to one satisfying conclusion. (Sept. 16)
Library Journal
Series star Bill Gastner (Privileged to Kill) has retired but still offers support to new County Sheriff Robert Torrez and Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman. Estelle subsequently juggles family problems while dealing with two murders in the nearby desert. Solid groundwork for a new series. For collections where Southwestern mysteries are popular. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With Sheriff Bobby Torrez away on a course, newly appointed Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman is suddenly top banana in Posadas County law enforcement. Keeping the peace in her under-populated, not-exactly-urban corner of New Mexico is seldom challenging, but life is full of little surprises. Two of them turn out to be nasty indeed, as bright but beleaguered Estelle learns when she responds to her dispatcher and drives southeast to a blighted patch of prairie, thinking that "an enterprising goat would have to work hard to keep his belly off his backbone here." Nevertheless, a pair of corpses-courtesy of bullets from a Remington .44-are in evidence: both male, both young, both Mexican. How they managed to get where almost no one goes is only one of the perplexing questions for Estelle. There's also the business of the late Denton Pope, who seems to have unexpectedly self-destructed while innocently engaged in arson. How to explain Denton's complex relationship to a bogus insurance company? Or the bizarre presence of a sizable herd of miniature donkeys-upwards of 200-in his backyard? Arriving from the wings, retired Sheriff Bill Gastner, that endlessly affable hero-and series protagonist until now (Big Limit, 2001, etc.)-appears in a timely walk-on to help grateful Estelle at least make sense of the donkey business. A bit light on plot, as usual, but there's solid pleasure to be derived from Havill's consistently good writing, colorful cast, and dead-on sense of place.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590586600
Publisher:
Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
10/05/2010
Series:
Posadas County Mystery Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
250
Sales rank:
1,003,193
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

Steven F. Havill lives with his wife of 40 years, Kathleen, in Ratón, New Mexico. He is the author of 21 novels set in the American west, taught secondary schools for 25 years, and recently earned an AAS degree in gunsmithing.

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