First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2018]
371 pages ; 25 cm
"Retired police chief Kevin Kerney returns--this time as the prime suspect in a brutal cold-case murder. A long-unsolved mystery gets a grim new break when the bones of Kim Ward are unearthed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty-five years after her disappearance. Suspicion swiftly falls on her old college boyfriend: none other than retired police chief Kevin Kerney. The chief's hopes of clearing his name look bleak in the face of damning evidence compiled against him by State Police Lieutenant Clayton Istee--Kerney's own son. Left grasping for clues, with no alibi and not a single witness to speak for him, Kerney and his wife must race to reconstruct long-past events to identify the one person who can clear his name and expose the killer before it's too late. As their investigation unfolds, they'll discover that Kim Ward's murder isn't the only crime they'll have to solve before they can put danger behind them"-- Provided by publisher.
9780393634358 (hardcover)
System Availability:
Current Holds:
Control Number:
Call Number:
Course Reserves:
# System items in:
Author Notes
Michael McGarrity is a former deputy sheriff for Santa Fe County, he established the first Sex Crimes Unit. 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. <p>
Fiction/Biography Profile
Kevin Kerney (Male), Private investigator, Married, Father, Grandfather, Retired, Recently retired from the police force where he was a police chief; moved to London when his wife got a job there; returned to New Mexico; prime suspect in brutal cold-case murder investigation
Sara Brannon (Female), Military attache, Married, Mother, Grandmother, Kevin's wife; moved to London to work at the American embassy
Clayton Istee (Male), Police sergeant, Native American, Apache, Kevin's son
Unsolved crimes
Cold cases
Missing persons
Family secrets
Murder investigations
London, England - Europe
New Mexico - Southwest (U.S.) / West (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Multiple plot contrivances mar bestseller McGarrity's 13th mystery featuring former police chief Kevin Kerney (after 2008's Dead or Alive). Kevin is looking forward to celebrating his wife Sara Brannon's retirement from the U.S. Army when he gets a call from Isabel Istee-the mother of his New Mexico state policeman son, Clayton-who informs him that he's about to be arrested for murder. Flash back eight days to a groundbreaking ceremony for an artist-in-residence center, whose attendees include Clayton, the Spanish ambassador to the U.S., and the New Mexico governor. To the horror of those assembled, the backhoe unearths a human skeleton, subsequently identified as belonging to Kim Ward, a college friend of Kevin's who spent the night with him on the property back in 1973. The discovery of a gun near the remains matching one that Kevin reported missing two days after he spent time with Kim strengthens the case against him. The search for Kim's murderer lacks suspense, and readers without prior investment in the characters and their interpersonal dynamics aren't likely to be captivated by them. Agent: Marcy Posner, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

Teenaged Kimberly Ward, pretty and popular, vanished one day forty-five years ago and the investigation went nowhere. Now a construction crew tearing up new ground unearths bones that are quickly identified as hers. A warrant goes out for the last person seen with her. He's author McGarrity's series hero Kevin Kerney, here a retired police chief. There's a twist: the cop compiling evidence against him is his son, police lieutenant Clayton Istee. This is an awkward situation for the characters and is likely to be so for readers, too, as they wonder what this whole effort is about. The meat of a mighty mystery is here: buried murder, drugs, betrayal, sniper fire, even allusions to cockfighting, but patient readers must perceive it from a distance, through the interstices of scenes that go nowhere. Stolen journal pages. A DEA agent who ran off with $5 million. The problem is the book needs a point of view. A narrator to be in charge of all this material. Recommended for readers who enjoy leisurely mysteries set in the Southwest.--Don Crinklaw Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Retired Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney emerges from a long absence since his last outing (Dead or Alive, 2009) just in time to be wanted for murder.Looks like Kerney's wife, Brig. Gen. Sara Brannon, will have to put the party celebrating her retirement as commandant of the Army Military Police School on hold: The groundbreaking for the Edna Fergurson Center for Artists-in-Residence at New Mexico State has turned up the skeleton of Kim Ward, Kerney's college sweetheart, and now his former colleagues are baying at Kerney's heels to arrest him for murder. The evidence against him may not seem strongmonths after they'd broken up, he met her the night she went missing, deeply upsetting artist Edna Fergurson, who'd hoped they'd make a go of it, and that partial fingerprint on the cartridge taken from her skull just might be hisbut it's more evidence than they have against anybody else, and after 45 years, they're not inclined to look much further. Though his wife never questions his innocence, Kerney constantly has to fence with Lt. Clayton Istee, the long-unacknowledged son who's part of the investigation, and with NMSP Agent Paul Avery, who seems determined to nail him. Sara hires sharp lawyer Gary Dalquist to represent her husband, who identifies a more promising suspect in the decades-old case. But not even an apparently climactic shootout that leaves both the suspect and one of the officers who's gone up against him dead settles things for good because Kerney's nosing around has inadvertently led him to another perp who knows nothing about Kim Ward's murder but is up to his neck in an unrelated criminal enterprise that he's dangerously determined to preserve from official oversight.An unholy mess of more felonies than you can shake a stick atand that's only counting the ones committed by the good guys. Whether or not McGarrity's veteran hero beats the rap, the New Mexico legal system will never be the same. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Against the backdrop of the harsh desert and high mountain country of southwestern New Mexico, a high-octane quest for the truth untangles a complex history of dark family secrets, cold-blooded murders, rogue cops, a devastating plane crash, and the possibility of one family's reconciliation.A long-unsolved missing person case becomes a homicide investigation when the bones of Kim Ward are unearthed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty-five years after her disappearance. Compelling forensic and anecdotal evidence quickly shifts suspicion to Ward's old college boyfriend: former Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney.With damning evidence against him compiled by his own son, New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Clayton Istee, Kerney is arrested. He has no alibi and not a single witness to speak for him. Under intense media scrutiny and 24/7 police surveillance, Kerney must rely solely on the help of his wife, Sara, and a renowned criminal defense lawyer to discover if there are any remaining clues that can exonerate him or lead to the killer.As the trio begin to reconstruct the events leading to Ward's murder, Istee reexamines his suspicions about Kerney's guilt and decides to risk everything to help prove his father's innocence. Working together to identify one person who can clear Kerney's name and expose the killer, the four soon discover that Ward's murder isn't the only crime to be solved.
Librarian's View

Add to My List