Hermit's Peak: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels (Paperback))

4.07 avg rating
( 819 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781451666809: Hermit's Peak: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels (Paperback))

Hermit’s Peak is a seminal novel in the crime fiction series that places New Mexico lawman Kevin Kerney in the pantheon with Tony Hillerman’s heroes—while carving out territory that is distinctly his own across the American Southwest.

When Kevin Kerney, deputy chief of the New Mexico State Police, inherits an unexpected windfall of 6,400 acres of high-county land, the last thing he wants to think about is work. But while visiting his new property, he comes across an ailing stray dog that leads him to the butchered bones of a murder victim near the rugged mountain of Hermit's Peak.

After assigning the case to his subordinates, Kerney returns to Santa Fe to spend time with a woman he cares about, Sara Brannon, a career army officer who is visiting him on holiday. But his time with Sara must wait, as he is called back to Hermit's Peak when another body is found at a remote cabin. Now, Kerney must unearth the shattering truth about his new land and follow a twisting trail of blood through the majestic landscape of the American Southwest.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Michael McGarrity is the author of the Kevin Kerney mystery novels including Tularosa, nominated for an Anthony Award; Mexican Hat; and Serpent Gate. A former Santa Fe County deputy sheriff, he also served as an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and as an investigator for the New Mexico Public Defender’s Office. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1
Maj. Sara Brannon arrived at her office fifteen minutes before she was due to report to Gen. Henry Powhatan Clarke. She sorted through her mail, looking for a letter from Kevin Kerney. There was no envelope with either a New Mexico postmark or his familiar scrawl. Disappointed, Sara set the mail aside, took off her fatigue jacket, and glanced at her wristwatch. It was evening in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and she wondered if Kerney was home from work. With the demands of his job as deputy chief of the New Mexico State Police and his gloomy description of the small guest house he was renting, she doubted he spent much time at home. Both Kerney and she were working long, hard hours in pressure-cooker jobs, and camping out in less than inviting quarters.
Late March in South Korea had brought a series of cloudy, dreary days that made spring seem a long way off. Sara yearned for sunshine and home. But with several months remaining on her tour of duty, it was too soon to start daydreaming.
Her office desk faced a full wall of situation maps documenting all recent North Korean DMZ incursions, infiltrations, and violations. As commander of allied G-2 ground reconnaissance and intelligence units, she was directly responsible for monitoring North Korean troop activity along and inside the DMZ. Her squads had to catch whatever the electronic eyes in the sky missed. Sara routinely accompanied the patrols to assess their effectiveness and efficiency.
For the last forty-six years, battle-ready armies had faced each other across a swath of rugged mountains two-and-a-half miles wide and a hundred-and-fifty miles long that cut across the Korean peninsula, keeping the zone free of any human activity except intermittent skirmishes. Once blasted by artillery, bombed and strafed by aircraft, burned and left barren by infantry, the DMZ now flourished as a nature preserve. The reforested mountains, abundant grasses, and wildflowers, the deer, brown bears, and wildcats that grazed and fed peacefully in the valleys and the high country, reminded Sara of her family's Montana sheep ranch and Kerney's still unrealized hope to return to his ranching roots in New Mexico.
When G-2 had received advance notice of the itinerary for the secretary of state's South Korean visit, Sara concentrated her attention on Panmunjom, the neutral village within the DMZ fifty miles due north from Seoul. The secretary had scheduled a quick visit to the site, to be accompanied by high-ranking military and civilian dignitaries.
During a series of late-night sweeps at Panmunjom, Sara had spotted the tracks and scat of a Korean wildcat. On a subsequent patrol, under a full moon, she caught sight of the animal, an adult male about the size of an American cougar. Through night-vision binoculars, she watched it lope quickly across the cleared area around the village and move on.
Two nights before the secretary of state's arrival, she saw the animal again on the same traverse. Halfway across the clearing the big cat froze, turned to catch a downwind breeze coming from the village, reversed direction, and quickly retreated.
Whatever startled the wildcat needed looking into. Sara got permission to go into the DMZ for a closer look. Her team jumped off late at night from a staging area in a canyon south of Panmunjom, and belly-crawled to the open perimeter surrounding the village, where they waited for the full moon to set.
Under cover of darkness, Sara spread her people out and put the area under close surveillance. For hours nothing moved, but Sara sensed that the North Koreans were up to something. She ordered a ground sweep into the village. As Sara and her team crawled across the clearing, automatic weapon fire opened up from three hidden positions, taking out her point man.
Sara popped flares into the night sky, called for cover fire from the infantry platoon stationed behind the wire, and kept the team moving forward as rounds whined overhead. The green dots from the AK-47 tracers, the red dots from the M-60 machine-gun tracers, and the searing white of the flares cast carnival colors across the night sky.
Using rocket grenade launchers, the team took out two of the positions and stormed the third, capturing a wounded North Korean soldier.
As Sara pulled back with the wounded North Korean and two shot-up team members, the enemy answered with return fire from behind the village. Another soldier took a round in the exchange, but Sara got everyone out. They hit the safety of the fence and a bank of ten-thousand-watt spotlights lit up the village. All shooting stopped.
Sara stayed with her wounded until the medics got them stabilized and ready to airlift. Then she reported to the command bunker. A South Korean infantry officer was on the telephone in a terse exchange with his opposite number on the other side of the DMZ. The officer hung up and reported to the American colonel at his side an immediate stand-down by the North Koreans.
At dawn, Sara took a platoon of infantry back into the DMZ to inspect the area. They found three tunnels with shielded ceilings to block any traces of body heat that could be detected by satellites. Dug from the North Korean boundary the tunnels ran to within five hundred feet of the viewing platform that looked over the DMZ, and were positioned to rake the viewing platform in a cross fire. Commando sniper rifles with silencers and telescopic sights were retrieved from the tunnels. Then each tunnel was sealed and destroyed with explosives.
As a result of the thwarted assassination plans, the secretary of state's DMZ visit was cancelled.
Weeks later, Sara was still waiting to hear what the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency had to say about the incident. The Beltway spy shops had taken full control of the investigation and dropped a heavy security blanket over the episode. Since the fire-fight, most of Sara's time had been spent either undergoing intense questioning by teams of Intelligence analysts or debriefing Pentagon and National Security Council officials.
She had put her people in for commendations and medals, but hadn't heard a word back through the chain of command. Perhaps the incident would be buried so deep that there'd be no recognition of her team's outstanding performance. Such a morale-buster wouldn't make the rest of her tour any easier. She would have to think of ways to keep the unit's performance at a peak.
Sara looked at her wristwatch again. She had five minutes before her meeting with General Clarke. She put on her fatigue jacket and walked across the street to the headquarters building.

Upon assuming command of Combined Forces in Korea, Gen. Henry Powhatan Clarke had taken one look at his senior staff dressed in their Class-B headquarters uniforms and issued his first order, making fatigues the duty dress of the day for all personnel regardless of rank or assignment. As commander in chief of a combat-ready army, Clarke wanted the staff that would run the war and the line soldiers who would fight it dressed, equipped, and prepared to respond at a moment's notice.
It was the first of many changes Clarke made to hone his army to a high state of readiness.
In a rare exception to his own policy, General Clarke had worn his Class-A uniform to work. His schedule for the day included a meeting with the United States ambassador and senior members of the embassy staff. Of all the ribbons he wore above his left jacket pocket, his most prized was the Good Conduct Ribbon, awarded only to enlisted personnel. Serving in Vietnam at the age of twenty, Henry Powhatan Clarke had won a competitive service appointment to West Point, and had graduated in time to return as platoon leader during the 1968 Tet Offensive.
At his desk, Clarke thumbed through the Defense Intelligence Agency report that had been delivered to his quarters late last night by a special Pentagon courier. The contents of the report, along with a letter and attached orders from the secretary of defense, had prompted his request to have Maj. Sara Brannon report to him.
A knock at the open door made General Clarke look up. He smiled and moved to the front of his desk. "Come in, Major," he said, gesturing toward the two army-issue, metal straight-back office chairs that, by design, made long sit-down sessions almost unbearable. Clarke liked short meetings that got his people up and moving as quickly as possible.
"Thank you, sir," Sara answered as she sat in the butt-numbing chair with more grace and ease than Clarke would have imagined possible.
She watched as the general gathered papers from the desk and sat across from her. He had pale blue eyes, a round face that belied his toughness, and close-cut, thick brown hair that curled slightly at the ends.
Sara met his gaze directly.
Clarke knew that Maj. Brannon was an exceptional officer. Any man who only saw her good looks -- her sparkling green eyes, strawberry blond hair, and the mischievous line of freckles across her nose -- would be seriously underestimating her.
"We finally received a conclusive Intelligence report on the sniper operation," General Clarke said. "A North Korean diplomat defected and confirmed the assassination plot was mounted by a fanatical element within the North Korean officer corps. They wanted to force Kim Jung II into a war with South Korea."
Sara nodded and waited.
"The three snipers had orders to kill the South Korean president, the secretary of state, and me." Henry Powhatan Clarke smiled. "Personally, I like to think that shooting an American four-star general would have pushed us into a war."
"I'm glad that didn't happen, sir," Sara said, smiling back.
"So am I, Major. I understand you've been asking my chief of staff about the status of your request for promotions and commendations for your team."
"I have, sir."
"I like an officer who goes to bat for her people."
"They've earned the recognition, General," Sara said.
"Agreed, Major," General Clarke said, as he put some papers in Sara's hands. "Each enlisted rank gets a meritorious promotion and the Army Commendation Medal. Additionally, the wounded men receive Purple Hearts."
"That's good news, sir," Sara said breaking into a smile as she scanned the orders and citation documents.
"There's more," General Clarke said, handing Sara another sheet of paper. "At the request of the secretary of state, and upon the recommendation of the secretary of defense, you are to receive the Distinguished Service Medal."
Stunned into silence, Sara read the citation. Finally, she raised her glance. "I don't know what to say."
"Congratulations, Colonel Brannon."
"Excuse me?" Sara said incredulously, forgetting protocol.
General Clarke laughed. "We couldn't promote everyone else on the team and leave you out, now could we? I can't think of anybody in your academy class who is walking around as a light colonel."
"A few are on the short list, General."
"Well, you'll have seniority over all of them. You'll get orders for your next duty assignment within the week. You're going home early."
"Where to, sir?"
"After you report from leave, you'll be attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth."
"I wasn't scheduled to attend C and GS until next year," Sara said.
"We can't have a highly decorated, new light colonel running around without her C and GS College ticket punched," General Clarke replied with a warm smile. "You'll need it in your personnel jacket for your next promotion to full colonel. Considering that you kept the North Koreans from sending me home in a bodybag, it was the least I could do."
"Thank you, sir."
"No sweat, Colonel. Meet me at the Officers' Club tonight at twenty hundred hours. I'll pin on those silver oak leaves and douse them with beer, as tradition demands."
"I'll be there, General."
General Clarke stood and walked to his office door. "Any time you want to return to my command, Colonel Brannon, just give me a holler. I want nothing but stud officers serving with me, and I don't give a damn what gender they are."

Sara stood outside the headquarters building in the drizzle paying no attention to the enlisted personnel who walked past snapping off salutes. She recovered her composure and started moving in the direction of G-2, across the street. A convoy of troop carriers held her up.
Sara remained on the sidewalk after the convoy rumbled by, trying to calculate the miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to Santa Fe. She guessed it to be seven hundred miles. It certainly put Kerney within striking distance.
She smiled as a thought crossed her mind. They had been writing to each other more frequently as the time for her to rotate stateside grew closer, making plans for a visit. Maybe she'd just show up in Santa Fe unannounced and early.
Sara's smile turned into a slightly wicked grin. She had hammered her sexuality into submission by working eighteen-hour days and avoiding even those men who were not off-limits under the current sexual relations policies. Avoiding the whole sex issue had been the most realistic way to survive with her career intact in a combat-ready command, and she was damn tired of abstinence.
A young soldier gave Sara a salute and a sidelong glance as he passed by, and Sara wiped the grin off her face. The cloudy day had turned cold. Sara zipped up her fatigue jacket, yearning for the dry desert heat that she'd bitched so much about during her tour of duty at White Sands Missile Range.
She stepped off the sidewalk and hurried to find her Field Intelligence and Reconnaissance Unit squad leaders. She wanted to be the first to tell her people about the promotions and citations before word leaked out from other sources. Then she'd finish her workday and celebrate after General Clarke pinned on the silver oak leaves that evening.
It was, Lt. Col. Sara Brannon thought, one of the best days in her ten years as an officer in the United States Army.

Kevin Kerney sat in the passenger seat of Dale Jennings's truck with the window rolled down, while his old friend from the Tularosa Basin drove down a San Miguel County dirt road in Northern New Mexico, about fifty miles due east of Santa Fe.
It was an unusually warm and pretty early April morning, but Kerney wasn't paying any attention to the weather or the vistas. His thoughts were on Erma Fergurson.
Erma was his mother's college roommate and lifelong friend. When his parents died in an auto accident over twenty-five years ago, Erma became one of the few people left in Kerney's life with a link to his boyhood on his family's Tularosa ranch.
Erma taught art at the state university in Las Cruces for almost forty years. After her retirement, she became one of the most renowned landscape artists of the Southwest. She'd never married, never had children.
Kerney had last seen Erma in November on a visit to Las Cruces. In her seventies, she remained a head-turner. She was vibrant, vital, elegant, and classy. They went out to dinner, reminisced about Kerney's parents, and talked about his college years when Erma served as his surrogate mother.
A massive stroke had killed Erma in early February, and now Kerney was about to take his second look at the ten sections of high country ranch land she had left to him. He'd known that Erma owned property she once used as a summer retreat. But the size of it -- 6,400 acres -- came as a complete surprise, as did her bequest of the land and the old cabin that stood on it.
Kerney glanced quickly at Dale, now the last living person connected to Kerney's childhood years on the ranch. Dale's arm rested on the open window and he steered the truck with one hand. His fingers were blunt and calloused, and his long forehead, covered by the bill of a cap pulled low, hid his thinning hair. His closely cro...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 16.00
US$ 4.99

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

McGarrity, Michael
Published by Gallery Books 2012-04-03 (2012)
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Paperback Quantity Available: 6
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books 2012-04-03, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9781451666809B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

McGarrity, Michael
Published by Simon and Schuster
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon and Schuster. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 1451666802

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.37
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

McGarrity, Michael
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2012. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9781451666809

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Michael McGarrity
Published by Gallery Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Hermit s Peak is a seminal novel in the crime fiction series that places New Mexico lawman Kevin Kerney in the pantheon with Tony Hillerman s heroes--while carving out territory that is distinctly his own across the American Southwest. When Kevin Kerney, deputy chief of the New Mexico State Police, inherits an unexpected windfall of 6,400 acres of high-county land, the last thing he wants to think about is work. But while visiting his new property, he comes across an ailing stray dog that leads him to the butchered bones of a murder victim near the rugged mountain of Hermit s Peak. After assigning the case to his subordinates, Kerney returns to Santa Fe to spend time with a woman he cares about, Sara Brannon, a career army officer who is visiting him on holiday. But his time with Sara must wait, as he is called back to Hermit s Peak when another body is found at a remote cabin. Now, Kerney must unearth the shattering truth about his new land and follow a twisting trail of blood through the majestic landscape of the American Southwest. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9781451666809

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

McGarrity, Michael
Published by Gallery Books
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1451666802 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # NATARAJB1FI755499

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.61
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

McGarrity, Michael
Published by Gallery Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 1451666802

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Michael McGarrity
Published by Gallery Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Hermit s Peak is a seminal novel in the crime fiction series that places New Mexico lawman Kevin Kerney in the pantheon with Tony Hillerman s heroes--while carving out territory that is distinctly his own across the American Southwest. When Kevin Kerney, deputy chief of the New Mexico State Police, inherits an unexpected windfall of 6,400 acres of high-county land, the last thing he wants to think about is work. But while visiting his new property, he comes across an ailing stray dog that leads him to the butchered bones of a murder victim near the rugged mountain of Hermit s Peak. After assigning the case to his subordinates, Kerney returns to Santa Fe to spend time with a woman he cares about, Sara Brannon, a career army officer who is visiting him on holiday. But his time with Sara must wait, as he is called back to Hermit s Peak when another body is found at a remote cabin. Now, Kerney must unearth the shattering truth about his new land and follow a twisting trail of blood through the majestic landscape of the American Southwest. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9781451666809

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

McGarrity, Michael
Published by Gallery Books
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1451666802. Bookseller Inventory # Z1451666802ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.72
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

McGarrity, Michael
Published by Gallery Books
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Gallery Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1451666802 Brand New! Not Overstocks or Low Quality Book Club Editions! Direct From the Publisher! We're not a giant, faceless warehouse organization! We're a small town bookstore that loves books and loves it's customers! Buy from us and you get great service as well as a great price! Your business is valued and your satisfaction is guaranteed!. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-S-9781451666809

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.16
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Michael McGarrity
ISBN 10: 1451666802 ISBN 13: 9781451666809
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 351 pages. 0.299. Bookseller Inventory # 9781451666809

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 17.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book