In his ninth (Everyone Dies, 2003, etc.), Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney meets an old friend, cracks a tough case and goes to the movies.
Fast-talking, hard-drinking, skirt-chasing Johnny Jordan is less a friend than a case of nostalgia gone sour. When he and Kevin Kerney were kids growing up together on Joe and Bessie Jordan’s ranch, Kerney had learned to step warily around Johnny. Now Johnny’s producing a movie, a modern western to be filmed in the nearby Playas. How would Kerney like being technical advisor on the cop stuff and pick up some expense money for his wife and young son? It sounds like a great way to spend the free time he and Sara have coming, Kerney thinks. And he’d be right if the pace of events didn’t make its usual mockery out of Kerney family planning. Suddenly, Lieutenant Colonel Sara finds herself detached from the Pentagon and on her way to Dublin in the wake of an international smuggler with military connections. And suddenly Kerney has the murder of a Border Patrol agent on his hands, along with all the trouble Johnny Jordan can stir up as easily on a movie set as he had on the old homestead.
Although the hero vanishes for nearly a hundred pages, the series remains one of crime fiction’s most readable.