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A book by Michael McGarrity

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Desert suspense makes for fine debut

  • Jul 23, 2004
In McGarrity's first novel ex-Santa Fe cop Kevin Kerney, derailed by a shot-up knee, takes a break from retirement when Navajo cop Terry Yazzi, his former partner and the man responsible for his injury, asks him to find his son.

The younger Yazzi, Sammy, is listed as AWOL from the high-security White Sands Missile Range. But Sammy is conscientious and was content with his work ? not a likely candidate for running off.

Kerney's investigation leads him first to army investigator Sara Brannon, a sharp-eyed woman who doesn't miss a trick. After a rocky start, the two join forces on a trek which takes them into the regions' past ? from the recent days of struggle between ranchers like Kerney's family and the military who dispossessed them to more distant days of armies and Indians.

McGarrity's characters emerge as real people and the desert landscape is as beguiling as it is harsh while the tangled conspiracy unravels with nail biting, page turning excitement. A fine debut.

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review by . January 07, 2013
A story about the west and a brave protagonist
Kevin Kerney is approached by his old friend and fellow officer, Terry Yazzi, to help find Terry's son, Sammy. Kerney is Sammy's god-father but Kevin has no love for Terry.  Terry's problem with alcohol is the reason why Kerney had no backup during a criminal apprehension. As a result, Terry was shot and had to take a disability retirement  from the Santa Fe Police Department.      Kerney accepts the case for Sammy's sake and learns that Sammy was stationed …
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Lynn Harnett ()
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I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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About this book


Few first mysteries are as fresh and powerful as this rich Southwestern tale of tough, credible characters involved in a complex, danger-fraught plot centering around stolen historical artifacts. Kevin Kerney is still recovering from the physical and psychic wounds that forced his retirement from the Santa Fe police force, when his former partner asks him to search for his son-Kerney's godson-who is AWOL from nearby White Sands Missile Range. At the top-secret base, Kerney forges an uneasy alliance with Captain Sara Brannon, an astute Army investigator. Together, they travel on horseback into the restricted San Andres Mountains and the isolated Tularosa Valley, former Apache country where Kerney grew up, and stumble on a plundered cache of military goods from the Civil War era. Escaping with their lives, they follow separate paths to discover who is selling the stolen goods to whom. The search takes them and a vivid supporting cast (notably an Army corporal who disguises himself as jorobado, a hunchback believed in Mexican tradition to bring good luck) to both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. McGarrity demonstrates firm control of his action-packed material, marking a trail with corpses (of the good and the very bad) to a tense, neatly orchestrated finale in the seamy border town of Juarez. Blending an air of the old West with some very modern characters, McGarrity delivers atmosphere, action, romance and prime satisfaction. (May) FYI: McGarrity is a former member of the ...
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ISBN-10: 067100252X
ISBN-13: 978-0671002527
Author: Michael McGarrity
Publisher: Pocket Star

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