The Barnes & Noble Review
In Michael McGarrity's tenth Kevin Kerney novel (Slow Kill, Everyone Dies, et al.), the hard-charging Santa Fe police chief gets a call from an old childhood acquaintance with an enticing proposition.
Even when they were young, Johnny Jordan has been -- you guessed it -- nothing but trouble; but when the fast-talking, hard-drinking, womanizing former rodeo star-turned-executive film producer approaches Kerney with a lucrative offer to serve as a technical adviser on a contemporary western being filmed along the Mexican border, Kerney agrees. The few weeks that Kerney will be on location will be a much-needed family vacation for him, his wife, Sara (a Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Army lieutenant colonel), and three-year old son. But as is often the case with the best-laid plans, Sara is suddenly sent off to Ireland on assignment, and Kerney is left with a precocious child in tow. And before filming can even begin, the dead body of an undercover Border Patrol officer is found nearby. Between fulfilling his duties as a technical adviser, babysitting his son, and keeping a watchful eye on his alcoholic childhood buddy, Kerney must also solve a mystery that could include illegal immigrant trafficking, drug smuggling -- or something much more nefarious…
Besides being compelling and exceptionally well written crime novels -- McGarrity's Kevin Kerney series gives such a rich, vividly detailed description of the majestic landscapes and vibrant history of New Mexico (particularly the melting pot of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures), it could be featured in the state's tourism campaigns! State nickname: Land of Enchantment. State bird: roadrunner. State literary ambassador: Michael McGarrity. Highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen
Returning from 2004's Slow Kill, stoic Sante Fe police chief Kevin Kerney receives an unexpected visit from Johnny Jordan, a childhood friend and now cantankerous former rodeo pro, who convinces Kerney to serve as a technical adviser in the shooting of a local western film. Eager for a break, Kerney heads to the location in southwestern Bootheel with his lovely wife, Army Lt. Col. Sara Brannon, and his young son, Patrick, in tow. But what starts out as a working vacation in this seventh Kerney outing quickly detours into a bloody crime scene when the body of an undercover Border Patrol agent is dumped onto Highway 81. In no time, U.S. Customs joins Kerney's investigation into a possible illegal immigrant and drug smuggling operation. Meanwhile, Sara's army job unexpectedly takes her to Ireland where she must track down and seize the notorious George Spalding, a gemstone smuggler and wartime deserter. McGarrity focuses on the details of the settings and on the characters' tactical maneuvers career- and parenting-wise. The result is slightly amplified sleuthing, deftly swapped out at surprising moments to the POV of the bad guys, and with fine but low-grade intensity. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
In McGarrity's latest Kevin Kerney mystery (after Slow Kill), readers are treated to moviemaking in New Mexico and, in a real departure for the series, a venture to Ireland featuring the Santa Fe police chief's wife, Sara, an army officer. McGarrity dedicates a third of the book to Sara, homing in on her covert operation in Ireland as she tries to capture a fugitive whose schemes have ties to important U.S. government officials. Her operation upsets a superior officer who immediately deploys her to Iraq. Although Kevin and Sara are accustomed to a long-distance marriage, they now have just a few days to make arrangements for Kevin to assume the care of their five-year-old son. In the meantime, Kevin gets involved with the filming of a movie along the Mexican border, thus allowing McGarrity to once again exhibit his remarkable ability to make the landscape and people of the Southwest a vital character in his story. Recommended where the series is popular. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 8/05.]-Ann Forister, Roseville P.L., CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In his ninth (Everyone Dies, 2003, etc.), Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney meets an old friend, cracks a tough case and goes to the movies. Fast-talking, hard-drinking, skirt-chasing Johnny Jordan is less a friend than a case of nostalgia gone sour. When he and Kevin Kerney were kids growing up together on Joe and Bessie Jordan's ranch, Kerney had learned to step warily around Johnny. Now Johnny's producing a movie, a modern western to be filmed in the nearby Playas. How would Kerney like being technical advisor on the cop stuff and pick up some expense money for his wife and young son? It sounds like a great way to spend the free time he and Sara have coming, Kerney thinks. And he'd be right if the pace of events didn't make its usual mockery out of Kerney family planning. Suddenly, Lieutenant Colonel Sara finds herself detached from the Pentagon and on her way to Dublin in the wake of an international smuggler with military connections. And suddenly Kerney has the murder of a Border Patrol agent on his hands, along with all the trouble Johnny Jordan can stir up as easily on a movie set as he had on the old homestead. Although the hero vanishes for nearly a hundred pages, the series remains one of crime fiction's most readable.