DEATH OF THE RIVER MASTER by Allana Martin

DEATH OF THE RIVER MASTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Where is the water? Texana Jones ends up asking from her bordertown trading post when her veterinarian husband is arrested for murder.

How could anybody imagine that Clay Jones could kill anybody, least of all Zanjiv Mehendru, head of the US Section of the International Boundary Water Commission, a man he hardly knew? The case against Clay—a drug-addicted prostitute places him at the scene, then quickly vanishes into a private rehab clinic before she can be confronted by a solid alibi and records that show that she was in jail herself at the time of the murder—would collapse like a house of cards if only it were being tried in a Texas court. But since Zanjiv was shot in Ojinaga, the case is tried by a Mexican magistrate who has virtually unlimited discretion, and apparently unlimited animus against Clay. Although Zanjiv had plenty of enemies, especially among the powerful interests fighting for control of the parched region’s dwindling water supply, the biggest puzzle here is why anybody would have chosen Clay to frame for his murder, and that’s the puzzle Martin solves most handsomely in this otherwise not exactly baffling case.

Despite the skimpy mystery, Texana’s sixth (Death of the Last Villista, 2001, etc.) offers more than enough local color to make you think about packing your bags—and a couple of canteens, just to be safe.

Pub Date: July 7th, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-30685-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2003




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