After years away on the pro rodeo circuit, Johnny Jordan struts into Santa Fe to ask his boyhood friend, Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney, to serve as a technical advisor on a contemporary Western movie to be filmed along the Mexican border. Kerney agrees and plans a working vacation on location in a remote area of the state known as the Bootheel with his wife, Lt. Colonel Sara Brannon, and their three year old son, Patrick. But a dead man on a road near an isolated border crossing, a federal undercover investigation into immigrant smuggling, the search for a fugitive from military justice hiding somewhere in Europe, and Johnny Jordan's troublesome behavior ensure that nothing goes as planned.
As separate investigations embroil Kerney and Sara in circumstances that will forever changes their lives, Kerney must care for Patrick while Sara plays a dangerous game of Pentagon politics. Packed with family secrets, international intrigue, and memorable characters, this is McGarrity's most ambitious and involving novel to date, traveling an accelerating arc from Santa Fe to the desert grasslands and mountains of the Bootheel, the most secret levels of the Pentagon, a resort town on the coast of Ireland, and back to an adrenaline-charged climax on a desolate landing strip a few miles north of the Mexican border.
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Michael McGarrity is the author of the Anthony Award–nominated Tularosa, as well as Mexican Hat, Serpent Gate, Hermit’s Peak, The Judas Judge, Under the Color of Law, The Big Gamble, Everyone Dies, and Slow Kill. A former deputy sheriff for Santa Fe County, he established the first Sex Crimes Unit. He has also served as an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and as an investigator for the New Mexico Public Defender’s Office.From Publishers Weekly:
Returning from 2004's Slow Kill, stoic Sante Fe police chief Kevin Kerney receives an unexpected visit from Johnny Jordan, a childhood friend and now cantankerous former rodeo pro, who convinces Kerney to serve as a technical adviser in the shooting of a local western film. Eager for a break, Kerney heads to the location in southwestern Bootheel with his lovely wife, Army Lt. Col. Sara Brannon, and his young son, Patrick, in tow. But what starts out as a working vacation in this seventh Kerney outing quickly detours into a bloody crime scene when the body of an undercover Border Patrol agent is dumped onto Highway 81. In no time, U.S. Customs joins Kerney's investigation into a possible illegal immigrant and drug smuggling operation. Meanwhile, Sara's army job unexpectedly takes her to Ireland where she must track down and seize the notorious George Spalding, a gemstone smuggler and wartime deserter. McGarrity focuses on the details of the settings and on the characters' tactical maneuvers career- and parenting-wise. The result is slightly amplified sleuthing, deftly swapped out at surprising moments to the POV of the bad guys, and with fine but low-grade intensity.
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