FINAL PAYMENT by Steven Havill


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A concert, a bike race and three dead bodies—it’s all business as usual for Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman of Posadas County, NM.

Small, out of the way, rural, but about as bucolic as Baghdad: that’s Posadas County. And fans know full well it’s no place for law enforcement officers who can’t work sleep-deprived. Beautiful, bright, resourceful Undersheriff Guzman is on edge about both the likelihood of bruised and battered bodies littering the untamed back country as the result of a much publicized 100-mile bicycle race, and her 7-year-old prodigy Francisco, scheduled to make his debut as a concert pianist later that evening. Now, upping the ante, comes a call from Bobby Torrez, her boss. “A triple,” he says cryptically. Two males and a female, apparently members of the same family, have been shot to death. The victims seem to be illegals, but they’re dressed too well to be day laborers, reasons Estelle. Moreover, the manner in which they arrived at their final destination—an airplane piloted away by their executioner—suggests that up until the moment they were killed, they had options unavailable to most migrant workers. Who were these strangers? What was their lethal link to Posasdas County? The answers are complicated and hard to get, and Estelle will almost die trying.

Less local color means a lesser entry in what’s still a very good series (Statute of Limitations, 2006, etc.).

Pub Date: June 14th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-312-35415-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007


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