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Dead or Alive (Kevin Kerney Novels


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About the Author

Michael McGarrity is the author of the national bestselling Kevin Kerney crime novels, beginning with Tularosa and Mexican Hat, and his American West Trilogy historical novels. A former psychotherapist and deputy sheriff whose career in criminal justice spanned more than twenty-five years, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


McGarrity has a long list of solid mysteries in his Kevin Kerney series. Unfortunately, the 12th (after Death Song) is not up to the same standard. Like all the Kerney books, it is set in New Mexico, peopled with a cast of likable characters, and features McGarrity's crisp and colorful writing. However, readers familiar with Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men (2005) or the Coen brothers' 2007 movie version will recognize the plot of the madman roaming the countryside and ruthlessly killing anyone who gets in his way. McGarrity's latest is as well done as McCarthy's so that those who haven't read No Country may be satisfied with the story of ex-sheriff Kerney, his army wife, and their family. Yet even McGarrity's knack for using the intriguing New Mexico setting as an integral aspect of the plot cannot redeem this relentless bloodbath of a novel. Coming so soon after No Country, it just seems derivative. Buy only where the series is popular.-Ann Forister, Roseville, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

McGarrity's 12th Kevin Kerney novel (after Death Song) displays the author's usual fine sense of place along with an unusual amount of gore. When escaped convict Craig Larson goes on a rampage that includes the murder of Riley Burke, a neighbor and business partner of former Santa Fe police chief Kerney, that's enough to bring Kerney, at least temporarily, out of retirement--and back from London, where Kerney's wife is a U.S. embassy employee. Larson's crime spree becomes more deadly as he tacks back and forth as far south as Texas and north almost to Colorado. Kerney, acting as a special investigator with the New Mexico State Police, and his lawman son, Clayton Istee, partner up for the statewide manhunt. McGarrity is particularly adept at portraying multijurisdictional investigations. While this isn't a good starting place for newcomers, series fans will relish the deepening relationship of Kerney and Istee, who only recently learned they were father and son. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Praise for the Kevin Kerney Novels

"McGarrity has a cunning mind for crime fiction."--The New York Times Book Review "If you have never read Michael McGarrity, then do yourself a favor."--Harlan Coben "McGarrity gets better and better. How good it is to follow a detective created by a man who has been there and done that."--Tony Hillerman

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