From Publishers Weekly
The questions and concerns of relationships, both everyday and extraordinary, personal and professional, lie at the heart of McGarrity's ninth entry in his Kevin Kerney series of police procedurals (The Big Gamble; Tularosa; The Judas Judge). Kerney, chief of the Santa Fe police force, and his wife, Sara Brannon, pregnant and due to give birth at any moment, have just begun a much needed vacation. Sara is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Military Police and will be assigned to the Pentagon just six weeks after the baby is born-a career move that Kerney opposes. A vicious killer slashes his way into the midst of this family crisis, beginning by shooting a Santa Fe lawyer, and in quick succession murdering Kerney's beloved horse, a forensic psychologist and a probation officer. It doesn't take long for Kerney to realize that his entire family has been targeted, especially after the killer begins leaving messages that say, "Everyone Dies." Area law enforcement personnel rally around the chief and begin a massive investigation. The large and varied supporting cast is sometimes difficult to keep straight, but McGarrity's fondness for his characters is evident, as is his love for the harsh but beautiful mountain and desert landscape they inhabit. Readers familiar with the series will be happy to settle back with the chief, his complicated family and the men and women of the department for another enjoyable installment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
McGarrity's Kevin Kerney series, set in New Mexico, has undergone a dramatic transformation over the years. At first, it played heavily on the mythic West and the difficulty of adapting rugged individualism to the modern world. Lately, the focus has shifted to the everyday life of a contemporary police chief--a good man trying to balance the contradictory roles of tough cop and sensitive husband. The new focus is far more difficult--Who wants quotidian reality when you've had a taste of mythic resonance?--but McGarrity rises to the occasion, drawing on his real-life experience as a cop and therapist. This time an unidentified psycho has his sights set on Kerney, his family, and his soon-to-be-born child. This is one serial-killer novel that unfolds without the usual high-concept trappings. McGarrity contrasts the painstaking investigatory work that leads to identifying a suspect with the personal crisis Kerney and his wife, Sara, face. Uncertain about how a child will affect their relationship, the couple must now contend with a much more immediate threat to their lives. The quiet, subtle attention to detail that has long been a hallmark of the Kerney series is once again on display here. The brooding, burned-out yet larger-than-life heroes of Ian Rankin or George Pelecanos have their appeal, yet there's plenty of room in the genre for a cop like Kevin Kearney, who broods not about the lack of meaning in his life but about finding time to help his wife decorate their new house. Bill OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved