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5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Killings Begin: Everyone Dies!
"Today he'd argued with a woman he adored, seen the murdered body of a man he liked, and found a horse he loved maliciously destroyed. It was a crummy way to start a vacation." (Page 19)
Being a police officer and a target of a smart killer with a score to settle has long been a hallmark of police oriented mystery fiction. However, rarely has it been done so well as...
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Kevin Tipple

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3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, readable, but undistinguished crime story
There are so many police-centered mystery novels flooding the market these days that even the most devoted fans of the genre(s) cannot possibly keep up. Given that murder and mayhem are endlessly popular, competition for readers' attention is keen. In light of the sheer numbers of crime novels that appear annually, it behooves an author to create a work that somehow...
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by Douglas A. Greenberg


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4.0 out of 5 stars Best 'who-done-it' in the series, May 26 2004
By 
Amazon Customer (Rancho Santa Margarita, ca, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
Even though this novel is a stand alone book within the Kevin Kerney series of novels, it would probably help to read a few of the others first, only to flesh out some background history on some of the characters.
I think that's beneficial only because the murders that plague Santa Fe, NM and Kevin Kerney's department hits close to home. First a seemingly random, yet planned murder of a gay attorney in town has the community and the police baffled. As the story progresses and the body count increases, it soon becomes evident that the murderer is singling out and sending a very private yet cryptic message to Kerney.
Kerney then realizes that his pregnant wife, and his estranged son may also be targets, and the clues are vague at best. This is no ordinary killer, this one has spent a lot of time crafting his trade and will have the reader guessing for quite sometime on who's next and where we are going.
That's the testament to this novel. You can really empathize with Kerney as he begins to feel helpless for not only himself but those few remaining close to him. The novel does a great job in pacing the action and guesswork, and you'd be surprised how fluid it moves along, all the while the bodies start stacking up.
The only issue I had that prevented me from assigning 5 stars was the very last chapter. After the climax, which was a little short after such a wonderful buildup, the last chapter jumped the reader a few weeks forward and everything was back to normal...too quickly and done within only a few brief pages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another book worth reading from a great series, Jan. 1 2004
By 
A. Steward "reader49" (Little Rock, AR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
Everyone Dies is the newest in a great series, but not the best of the series. We get the continuation of Chief Kerney's relationship with his often absent wife, his recently discovered son and other characters who have grown familiar as the series has developed. There are a lot of violent murders and the gradual introduction to the murderer as he pursues his agenda. It is the good police work and quick analysis of the evidence as the case takes unexpected twists and turns that keeps the reader's attention. It is a exciting, quick read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery. Skip some of the poorly written "best sellers" that everyone is reading and dig into one of the better written mystery series and you will be rewarded.
I would recommend reading the earlier books in the series first to get the background on these characters. I have been a fan of the series since Tularosa and will continue to read any books by Michael McGarrity since they are well written and take place in areas of the Southwest with which I am very familiar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Killings Begin: Everyone Dies!, Nov. 24 2003
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This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
"Today he'd argued with a woman he adored, seen the murdered body of a man he liked, and found a horse he loved maliciously destroyed. It was a crummy way to start a vacation." (Page 19)
Being a police officer and a target of a smart killer with a score to settle has long been a hallmark of police oriented mystery fiction. However, rarely has it been done so well as in this novel, latest in the series featuring Kevin Kerney.
With Lieutenant Colonel Sara Brannon, his wife, home on maternity leave from the Army, Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin' Kerney's thoughts involve the construction of their new home and the pending arrival almost any day of his son. He is supposed to be on an often delayed and much needed vacation. That is until the killings begin.
First it is a prominent attorney, Jack Potter who is shot in the chest and left to die on the sidewalk in front of the county court house. Then Kerney finds his beloved horse, Soldier, dead after being shot three times in the stomach. Then the dead rats and the notes threatening Kerney and his family begin to appear. Killing Kerney fast wouldn't bring the pleasure of making him suffer, as he will while the killer circles closer and closer killing innocent victims. As the killer moves closer, targeting his family and the body count climbs, Kerney and his investigative team lag far behind until the final inevitable violent confrontation.
As in most novels of this type the reader is quickly introduced to the killer. The action and the viewpoint move constantly back and forth between the killer, Kerney and other characters. As such there is zero suspense as to who the killer is. What is unknown are the reasons why and whether or not he can be stopped in time.
Why this novel works and works so well is the fact that as he has done in his other novels the author once again continues to build on the complex characters already established while creating a complicated mystery with multiple storylines. That coupled with his usual strong sense of pacing, action, and the occasional twist creates another page tuner in the best sense of the concept. This simply may be his best book yet in the series, which just keeps getting better and better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Series in full stride, Nov. 3 2003
By 
Charles J. Marr (Cambridge Springs, Pa USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
Being familiar with the genre of serial mysteries and having read a number of novels in this series, I think this work is pretty much at the apex of what a series can do. McGarrity knows his characters and where they fit in a complex relationship pattern. But then so must his readers. In this novel we see events that are rooted in a complex past.(For example, coming cold to the novel, a reader would be unfamiliar with Kearney's son, Clayton Istee, whose mother and Kearney were lovers in college. Born while an unsuspecting Kearney was serving in Vietnam, Clayton is resolving feelings of abandonment.)McGarrity handles this as well as possible which is why I consider this his best presentation so far, but extra-textal information is a limitation.
The novel is primarily a police procedural novel, although the writer uses a sort of fractured narrative - not quite "meanwhile back at the ranch"- as he advances the plot scattered over three or four sites. (NO UNITY OF PLACE HERE) As his characters cell-phone, radio and fax each other, the culprit lurks and listens. He is a shadowy presence, without deep psychological development. Nor does one find the kind of powerful descriptive passages of a writer like James Lee Burke, after all this is a similar but slightly different approach having a continuing character like Robicheaux but with emphasis on procedure.
Some aspects of this novel suggest a couple directions the writer may consider. Certainly Clayton Istee may be one path. We have seen how Hillerman moved from Leaphorn to Chee. Kearney's M.P. wife, Sara, now mother but still Lt Colonel (due for promotion) is a possible developmental chain. And Kearney's new ranch - with its nearby wild country - might be a scene of a reprise with the south of the border drug lords he has tangled with before. How long McGarrity can sustain this level and these characters is anyone's guess, but if you are not on board yet, come on.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, readable, but undistinguished crime story, Oct. 14 2003
By 
Douglas A. Greenberg (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
There are so many police-centered mystery novels flooding the market these days that even the most devoted fans of the genre(s) cannot possibly keep up. Given that murder and mayhem are endlessly popular, competition for readers' attention is keen. In light of the sheer numbers of crime novels that appear annually, it behooves an author to create a work that somehow stands out as uniquely memorable in terms of plot, characters, or literary style. Unfortunately, Michael McGarrity's *Everyone Dies*, while certainly readable, ultimately comes across as just another gore-filled day at the criminologists' office.
McGarrity, who apparently bases his writing efforts on real life experience in the field of criminology, displays a knack for weaving a tale of vengeance and criminal plotting that is clever, and at times even inspired. His criminal investigators unravel the deceptions perpetrated by the villain in sometimes fascinating fashion. Also in his favor is the geographically intriguing Santa Fe, New Mexico, setting for this story.
Overall, however, McGarrity's literary efforts pale in comparison with other, better-established practitioners of the mystery-writing craft. He includes a few riveting descriptive passages depicting place, situation, and mood, but his efforts pale when compared with those of a more gifted writer like James Lee Burke. His protagonist, Kevin Kerney, simply isn't memorable or particularly interesting when compared to others, such as Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, and his villain, a cartoon-ish lout who calls himself Samuel Green, lacks the psychological depth that someone like Dennis Lehane would likely provide.
There is an excess of gratuitous blood and gore, and the case ultimately is wrapped up in too much of a hurry, almost in "made for tv" fashion. I also found the strong "family values" angle featuring Kerney's pregnant wife and long-long son to be cloying rather than truly touching.
Overall, this is a quick, easy read that will keep most readers turning the pages. Perhaps that's enough. But whereas McGarrity certainly demonstrates some talent for mystery writing in this book, there are so many better writers out there that I would hesitate to recommend this novel to my friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone dies, Oct. 5 2003
This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
Having never read Michael McGarrity fiction, I am unable to compare this novel with previous works in what is apparently a series. I actually did not know it was a series until I read it somewhere, so that certainly says something.
I like crime fiction, and the challenge of figuring out "who done it". It's disappointing when it's too easy. That didn't happen here. The story begins with the murder of a prominent gay attorney. There are several angles to be explored, but nothing stands out that makes the victim an obvious target. Our protaganist, Kevin Kerney, is pulled off his vacation to try to solve the crime. He is then yanked smack dab into the middle of the mystery when his beloved horse is killed in a cruel way. It all becomes very personal when a dead rat is delivered to his doorstep along with threats toward his pregnant wife and the rest of his family.
I won't go into the details, you should read them for yourself! There are plot twists, interesting characters, real personalities. The Santa Fe setting is a refreshing departure from the usual gritty New York crime novels. The fact that the author is a former detective adds authenticity.
Now that I know it's a series, I will definitely look for the others and catch up with these characters. Overall, a fine book that I recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery and/or crime fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good story and good continuation of back story in the series, Sept. 2 2003
By 
R. Kelly Wagner "bunrab@bunrab.net" (MD, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
With a book that's part of a series, there's always the question of whether the book makes any sense at all if you haven't been following the series all along. The "Kevin Kerney" series has a back-story (the background contains evolving information about the lives of the characters which has nothing to do with the plot) but each book is also quite readable on its own. The mystery plot is good enough to carry even the new reader along.
Nonetheless, I'd certainly recommend that you read the whole series- they are all interesting. _Serpent Gate_ and _Under the Color of Law_ are especially good, in my opinion. Worth your while to read them.
In _Everyone Dies_, we have a continuation of the backstory of Kevin's son, whom he only recently discovered existed. Kevin gets to know his son better - and to work with him, on this case.
The plot: a gay lawyer gets murdered, right in front of his office. One of the questions: is it because he's gay, or because he's a lawyer, or some other reason the police have no idea of? One small bit of stereotyping I could have lived without: the lawyer's life partner owns an antiques shop. Personally, I would like to see authors stop casting gay characters in antiques and interior decorating. That's a small quibble, however- it doesn't spoil the book.
Besides the gay community in Santa Fe, we also get to deal with the mentally ill community - always a challenge for the police. We have social workers who are sure that their clients are ALWAYS wronged innocents; questions about how well the laws about screening gun purchasers work; and whether police get enough training in how to approach the mentally ill. Where I live, Austin, we've had a couple of incidents in the past couple of years, of a police officer shooting a mentally ill person who turned out to be unarmed. These incidents are still "under review" and nothing much has changed. However, when this happens in the book, Kerney is quickly on the ball about changing his force's policy and vowing to improve training. (Makes one wish reality would learn a few lessons from fiction, sigh.)
The next character murdered seems to have no connection whatsoever with the first murder. More murders follow, and some are accompanied by personal notes to Kerney. Eventually, Kerney and his staff figure out the connection - and then the race is to catch the killer before the trend continues. All of this is made more frantic by the fact that Kerney's wife Sara is extremely pregnant.
In the course of trying to stop this killer, Kerney discovers evidence of another set of murders by a serial killer. There's an interesting twist here - I won't give it away.
This series is slightly different from others set in the Southwest, in that our hero is not a Native American; fans of Tony Hillerman who like those kinds of series specifically because the characters are Native Americans might have been disappointed when they first read one book in this series. However, this book should bring those readers back into the fold, as Kevin's half-Indian son, who is also in law enforcement, becomes one of the more important characters.
A good book in a good series, one I intend to keep reading the moment any new book comes out!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The story line is exciting, Sept. 2 2003
By 
This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
Santa Fe Chief of Police Kevin Kerney looks forward to the vacation with his beloved pregnant wife US Army MP LTC Sara Brannon. The couple is at odds over her next assignment at the Pentagon only six weeks after their baby is due.
However, their time alone is put on hold when the murdered body of attorney Jack Potter is found on the streets with the crime scene contaminated by a moronic media menace (oxymoron?). Soon others related either by blood or professionally to Kevin are killed with the brazen culprit leaving the message "Everyone Dies". Kerney and other law enforcement officials in the region put together a massive manhunt seeking to stop a killer who is getting closer and closer to Kevin's epicenter, Sara.
Though at times this police procedural feels like Cecil DeMille cast the players, fans will appreciate the energy Michael McGarrity imbues in his hero, support players, and New Mexico that turns a serial killer tale into a personal who-done-it for readers rooting for Kevin. The story line is exciting though the death toll rises rather quickly. The investigation is top rate and the family crisis is fully developed and understandable so that the audience receives a solid episode in a strong series.
Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thriller I couldn't put down., Aug. 31 2003
By 
Jeff Jones (Decatur, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyone Dies (Hardcover)
Everyone Dies is my first Michael McGarrity book and the start of a new series I will be reading. I don't know how this guy has stayed below the radar but this book is as good as any I've read in this genre.
Everyone Dies is the latest Kevin Kearney novel, Kearney being the main figure of the book and the series. In this book, killings in Santa Fe ruin a good vacation for Kearney, the Police Chief. At first, the killings don't seemed link but Kearney finally finds out that he, his pregnant wife and his son's family are on the death list. What ensues is a mad dash to find the killer and save his family from their destruction.
I think what makes the story so good is that Kearney isn't some daring, dashing hero but just a guy who is looking forward to retirement and moving to his little ranch. He has a rather bizarre marriage as his wife is in the military and stationed in another location, he has a son he only recently learned about and has a down-home quality that makes him the guy you invite over to dinner so he doesn't have to eat alone in some greasy diner.
The action in the story is always moving. The characters are added on the fly and he doesn't bog you down in mundane details. However, when he describes locations and settings in the book, you can easily picture them, especially if you've visited the parts of the country he is describing.
The only thing I didn't understand in the book was the need to address a gay character and gay community. It doesn't add to the book so I question why McGarrity would find the need to address it.
That said, I have begun my quest to go back to Tularosa and catch up with Kevin Kearney and his travels, pitfalls and career up to Everybody Dies. Pick this book up and you'll have travel putting it down until you are done.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Continuation of Series, Aug. 28 2003
By 
H. Row "in1ear" (Arvada, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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I'm rewriting this review because I don't feel I may have done justice to the book in my first review. As aCaveat to the readers of this review, I was contacted by the publisher of the book and sent a free copy of Everyone Dies. My guess being that I had written reviews on books of similar ilk.Several factors entered at the time that I was asked to read the book and review it. To be honest the publisher never intimated it was required I write a review because they sent me a book. Anyway, the major factor that I felt kept me from writing a review worth the book's good and bad points adequately was trying to write the review from a hospital bed while being diagnosed and then treated with pneumonia.
So, here goes my second attempt of Everyone Dies. The latest in the long running series written by
Michael McGarrity and featuring main character Kevin Kerney. Everyone Dies takes place in and around Sante Fe and other scenic areas in New Mexico. Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney and his wife, Lt. Colonel Sara Brannon, are on leave and eagerly awaiting the birth of their son when a prominent gay attorney is gunned down outside his office by an unknown assailant. Called to the crime scene and faced with scanty evidence and no apparent motive, Kerney directs his chief of detectives to delve into the victim's personal and professional life, a decision which ultimately leads to a SWAT team screw-up and the death of two innocent people. But the killer has just begun. Kerney's horse, a mustang he'd gentled trained, is viciously and senselessly destroyed, a dead rat is left on his doorstep, and a second victim with ties to the criminal justice system is found in bed with her throat cut along with a warning, EVERYONE DIES.
I need to admit right now that I wasn't that impressed with EVERYONE DIES after reading it. I put that off to being ill and feeling like I "owed " the publisher something for sending me the book.
I must say that I've read MOST of the other books in the series. After doing so, I've come to feel that the characters that Michael McGarrity writes about are members of my family. After rereading EVERYONE DIES, I still can't say this is the best Kevin Kerney book. But it does add more "character" to the already lifelikemanship (is THAT A WORD?) to Kerney, his fiance' Sara, and how the other characters react and "live" a certain situation. I strongly encourage readers of action-packed police stories to check all of the Kevin Kerney series out. There's alot going for the series. Number one for me: it doesn't take place in LA or NYC. The writer, Michael McGarrity does an excellent job of portraying the natural beauty of the American Southwest. (specifically New Mexico). McGarrity develops believable human relationships for his
characters to engage his readers.
Again, I'd like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of EVERYONE DIES. Not the best of the writer's work. But good enough to make me want to read more in this series. Another BTW - Many of his published editions have maps drawn by (I believe McGarity's son) placed somewhere close inside the inside cover. I noticed another reviewer who thought the books would be enhanced with a map. The maps are helpful. Just don't expect USGS hiker scale type maps, ok?
BTW, This is a review of the UNABRIDGED RECORDED VERSION. I had a relative pick up a copy to listen to while recuperating in bed.
John Row
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Everyone Dies
Everyone Dies by Michael McGarrity (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 2 2004)
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