Everyone Dies Hardcover – Aug 19 2003
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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 Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I first picked up a copy of "Judas Judge" at a library book sale. From that book on, I was hooked, buying all his Kevin Kersey books in order from Tularosa up to Everyone... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dave Henly
I had never heard of Michael McGarrity, and found the cover and the plot summary both a bit off-putting, and wasn't expecting to like this book. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by Trisha Lisk
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
Everyone dies is an excellent police procedural novel--well-written and compelling, and (for me at least), had the fresh twist of being set in Santa Fe, instead of the usual gritty... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003 by Elizabeth Hendry
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. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2003 by Douglas A. Greenberg
Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney is on the hunt for a revenge killer while waiting for the birth of his child. Not everyone dies, but there is a lot of death. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2003 by SDRTX
Having never read Michael McGarrity fiction, I am unable to compare this novel with previous works in what is apparently a series. Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2003 by gotta run now
This is the first book I have read by this author and I was not impressed by his style of writing. With the first murder on page one to the last one in the next to lastchapter,... Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2003 by G. Bowser