MEXICAN HAT by Michael McGarrity


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 Retired Santa Fe cop Kevin Kerney (Tularosa, 1996) is working a temporary job as a Forest Service ranger when he looks inside a cave and finds a dazed old man whose ramblings lead him to the old man's grandson, evidently shot to death by a cougar poacher. But the news that Dr. JosÇ Padilla and his grandson Hector had called on ranching patriarch Edgar Cox earlier that day and left a letter Edgar doesn't want to discuss raises the stakes--as does the shooting of Kerney's old Police Academy student, Game and Fish warden Jim Stiles, left for dead when he goes out on his own to follow up a tip too good to be true. Suddenly Kerney's stuck in the middle of a gaggle of feuding Coxes: Edgar's paralyzed brother Eugene, Eugene's rancher son Phil, Edgar's daughter Karen--all warily circling the bones of JosÇ Padilla's father Luis, dead these 50 years. Even worse, Kerney's surrounded by dueling lawmen: the boss who deputizes him to the Catron County D.A.'s office, the big boss who wants him off the case, the dopey county sheriff whose press release got Jim Stiles shot, and Karen Cox, who just happens to be Catron County's newest prosecutor. It's a combination that might make his Forest Service job even more temporary than he thought--if a corps of demented militiamen or those poachers (even if they didn't kill Hector Padilla, they're still out there, armed and dangerous) don't retire him first. A bulging taco of a novel, overstuffed with villains, old secrets, crooked cops, and bang bang bang--but still written with a chemistry and majesty that'll make it irresistible to Tony Hillerman fans. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-393-04063-1
Page count: 295pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997


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