Under the Color of Law (Kevin Kerney Series #6)

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Overview

In Under the Color of Law, Kevin Kerny is back in Santa Fe, newly installed as police chief, when a U.S. ambassador's estranged wife is found murdered in her multimillion-dollar home. Before he can mount a proper investigation, an FBI anti-terrorism team arrives, takes control of the inquiry, and forces Kerney to watch from the sidelines as the crime scene is sanitized, potential witnesses disappear, and the case is cleared with trumped-up evidence.

Warned off, put under ...

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Under the Color of Law

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Overview

In Under the Color of Law, Kevin Kerny is back in Santa Fe, newly installed as police chief, when a U.S. ambassador's estranged wife is found murdered in her multimillion-dollar home. Before he can mount a proper investigation, an FBI anti-terrorism team arrives, takes control of the inquiry, and forces Kerney to watch from the sidelines as the crime scene is sanitized, potential witnesses disappear, and the case is cleared with trumped-up evidence.

Warned off, put under surveillance, and threatened with reprisals under the rubric of national security, Kerney balks at accepting the whitewash and begins a soft probe that points to a covert intelligence cover-up with tendrils stretching from every known government spy shop and running deep into the South American jungles.

Convinced that unscrupulous government agents are acting illegally under the color of the law, Kerney begins his own clandestine hunt for a hard target that will lead him to the truth about the Terrell homicide, knowing full well he might not survive the chase.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When a U.S. ambassador's wife is found murdered in her palatial home, Santa Fe police chief Kevin Kerney makes the case his top priority. But before the investigation even gets off the ground, Kerney is railroaded by an FBI team acting under the cloak of national security. Now, as Kerney watches from the sidelines, the crime scene is sanitized, witnesses disappear, and the case is cleared with trumped-up evidence that Kerney just can't buy. No amount of threats will deter him. No sinister warnings will coerce him to let the case lie. For Kerney, the investigation has only just begun -- and it's one he may not survive.
Library Journal
This entry in McGarrity's well-realized Kevin Kerney series (following Judas Judge) features a strong, likable protagonist who is now, after holding a variety of law enforcement assignments, Santa Fe's new police chief. As in all of McGarrity's books, the New Mexico setting, this time primarily within the city of Santa Fe, is as much a presence as the supporting characters, who are all intriguing and believable. It all begins with the murder of the estranged wife of an ambassador-at-large, a crime that brings in federal operatives concerned about national security issues. A second, seemingly unconnected murder of a visiting priest-scholar eventually reveals to Kerney and his detectives that there is far more to both killings than the feds are letting on. Deftly weaving the hunt for the solution to these murders with Kerney's adjustment to his new position and his long-distance relationship with his pregnant wife, McGarrity has written a good, stand-alone mystery and added another solid chapter to a wonderful mystery series. Highly recommended. Ann Forister, Roseville P.L., CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
About the only law-enforcement job Kevin Kerney (ex—sheriff's lieutenant, ex—Forest Service, ex—New Mexico State Police) hasn't held yet is Chief of the Santa Fe Police Department, and that's where this sixth case finds him. But before he can even get the normal trials of new leadership—reallocating funds, cutting deadwood, learning the political ropes—out of the way, he hits the ground running with the murder of Phyllis Terrell, the defiantly promiscuous estranged wife of a powerful US ambassador without portfolio. In minutes, it seems, an FBI task force is all over the case, and in the time it takes Kerney to question Phyllis's Mexican landscaper and turn him loose, task force head Charlie Perry has wrapped up the case. As Perry smugly tells Kerney, Scott Gatlin, who managed the ranch of Phyllis's wealthy father and warmed her bed along with dozens of others, has shot himself after obligingly leaving behind a full confession. This neat solution is chilling news, since it strongly suggests a government cover-up whose tentacles reach high and deep. Digging into the apparently unrelated killing of a Marymount priest, Kerney and a pair of trusted cops trace a nefarious plot that extends from legal maneuvering—wiretaps, disinformation, court orders to turn over evidence—to murder by government decree. McGarrity (The Judas Judge, 2000, etc.) is just the writer to keep the high-octane conspiracy clear, even though individual victims don't have time to leave much of an impression. Kerney's mind-boggling look at your tax dollars at work is his finest hour yet.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743507561
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 7/1/2001
  • Series: Kevin Kerney Series , #6
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael McGarrity

Michael McGarrity is author of the Anthony Award-nominated Tularosa, Mexican Hat, Serpent Gate, Hermit's Peak, The Judas Judge, Under the Color of Law, and The Big Gamble. A former deputy sheriff for Santa Fe County, he established the first Sex Crimes Unit. He has also served as an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and as an investigator for the New Mexico Public Defender's Office.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2012

    top notch police procedural Western style!!

    I love police procedural mysteries and being a native Texasn, having such authentic New Mexico scenes and culture added to the trail of clues just makes it that much better. He even describes horses correctly! What a novel idea!! Great characters, unusual stories, descriptions of scenery that actually make the reader "see" the places, and a hero with a few dings and scrapes, like the rest of us. Love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    McGarrity's books are all good reads. Highly recommend all of them.

    Synopsis: U.S. ambassador's wife is brutally stabbed to death in her home. FBI takes over with a whitewash, Kerney is warned, threatened, etc. The harder he hunts for the truth, the mnore he knows that he may not survive.

    One of the things I admire most about McGarrity's books are his attention to detail, especially regarding his surroundings. Not just spellbinding but informative as well. Great combination.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2002

    You can't go to sleep over this one

    Kevin Kerney steps into a really violent scene when he has just taken over the job of police chief in Santa Fe. I couldn't go to sleep without finishing the last three-quarters of the book. There is no convenient place to stop for the night. The action flows constantly and each page seems to require that I read the next. Kerney is a very likeable personality and draws a great deal of sympathy from the readers. The geography and pesonality of New Mexico is found in high relief which adds a lot for those of us who are familiar with the area. Sara Brannon is an admirable female character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting thriller wrapped around a police procedural

    Kevin Kerney returns to New Mexico as the new Chief of police, but before he settles into his new job, he has a major homicide case. Ms. Phyllis Terrell, estranged wife of a US Ambassador is found dead in her home. Before the chief and his men dig too deep, the FBI, claiming national security, takes over the investigation. <P>While the FBI whitewash the case, across town at the College of Santa Fe, a second homicide occurs. The victim is a priest who was studying covert actions of the United States in South America. Seeing a clear link between the homicides and an obvious cover up by the Feds, Kerney and his most trusted staff go undercover to try to learn the truth. <P>Michael McGarrity has written a fast-paced police procedural that is so action-packed the audience will need an oxygen tank to take a breath. The government¿s covert operation seems plausible, but Kerney¿s counter-measure makes David look like a giant going up against Goliath. This improbability does not hurt an enjoyable UNDER THE COVER OF LAW because the protagonist is easy to like and identify with in this SST speedster. This thriller wrapped around a police procedural will keep fan interest from start to finish. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    Recommend.

    A very good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    After reading Michael McGarrity's first novel in the Kevin Kerne

    After reading Michael McGarrity's first novel in the Kevin Kerney series, I was hooked. The author brings a marvelous sense of realism to his stories, and, coupled with his graphic descriptions of New Mexico, creates a wonderful read. So I was amazed and disappointed in reading the sixth in the series, &quot;Under the Color of Law.&quot; The realism of the first five novels has been replaced with a plot that I can only term preposterous.

    In this story, the reader is asked to believe (1) that the United States government and its agencies--the FBI, CIA, and Army Intelligence--routinely and casually assassinate American citizens on American soil, on the say-so of a former military officer now heading a trade mission to Latin America; and (2) that despite the literally dozens of people assisting in these killings--operators of a crematorium on an Air Force base, helicopter pilots who gun down a Santa Fe detective in his car, electronic-surveillance specialists, FBI agents who commit warrantless break-ins, and more--none of this activity ever leaks out to the public or the media. And finally, the reason for all of these murders--to cover up the trade mission's real purpose of undermining a corrupt government and its drug-dealing partners--isn't exactly the sort of thing that would surprise anyone. (On the contrary, most Americans would be upset if our government weren't trying to put a crimp in the Latin American drug trade.) In short, the story is simply far-fetched.

    If I want high-tech gadgetry and over-the-top plotting, I'll rent another James Bond DVD. I'm hoping that in the next book in the Kerney series, the author returns to the realism that's made his previous efforts so believeable and engrossing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2001

    Intrigue and Murder

    UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW AUTHOR: Michael McGarrity PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster REVIEWED BY: Barbara Rhoades BOOK REVIEW: Kevin Kerney returns in this book. He has become the Chief of Police in Santa Fe. A murder has occurred and is no less than a U.S. Ambassador¿s wife. As Kevin starts his investigation into this murder, he is thwarted by the FBI and warned off, his life is put under surveillance and a good officer is murdered while helping in the investigation. To learn why all this is happening, Kevin calls in a marker or two and warns his pregnant wife to remain at the Army post where she is stationed. She refuses to listen and between the two of them and a very good police department, the murder comes to some resolution. From the Jungles of South America to the southwest of Santa Fe, this story holds the attention of anyone who enjoys an intriguing mystery/murder. Be sure to pick up a copy of UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW.

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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