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 in...
Published on Nov 25 2003 by Kevin Tipple
3.0 out of 5 stars More down time
This excellent series continues with a procedural that needs more of Kerney, and a little less of the spare step by step police investigation.
Published on Nov 13 2003 by John Bowes
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best 'who-done-it' in the series,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully surprised!,
He wrote a book about a psychotic killer, yes, but he didn't allow his writing to sink to the level of the killer. It's a very good book with breadth and depth even with a "less-is-more" control over the verbiage, which I like and respect. His story line and characters are engaging. The mystery is compellingly presented. I finished it and rushed to my nearest bookstore to buy all the other Mike McGarrity murder, mayhem and mystery books and have since read them and found them as engaging as Everybody Dies! Keep on writing, Mr. McGarrity!
4.0 out of 5 stars Another book worth reading from a great series,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Killings Begin: Everyone Dies!,
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars More down time,
4.0 out of 5 stars Series in full stride,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, readable, but undistinguished crime story,
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed,
4.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone dies,
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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Everyone Dies by Michael McGarrity (Mass Market Paperback - Aug 2 2004)
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