Heartshot

Steven F. Havill, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (246p) ISBN 978-0-312-05442-7
Septuagenarian undersheriff Bill Gastner of Posadas County, N.M., is the skeptical, endearing narrator of this mystery debut by a writer of Westerns ( Timberblood ). Conscious of advancing age and his bulging waistline, Gastner distrusts both computers and the skills of newly elected sheriff Martin Holman, a former used-car salesman. When a large stash of cocaine is found in the car of five teenagers killed in a crash, local officials are stymied. A young state cop is brought in to mingle with the victims's friends, posing as Gastner's grandson. In short order, a grief-stricken father shoots the undercover cop, a moody teenager dies in a suspicious ``suicide,'' and Gastner has a heart attack. Eventually Gastner, the surprisingly capable Holman and detective Estelle Reyes expose a complicated drug-smuggling operation. Airplanes, real and model, loom large in the denouement and the climactic flying sequence is a corker. If the villain's identity is not surprising, readers still will enjoy this caper and look forward to future appearances of curmudgeonly charmer Gastner. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-890208-29-5
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-61595-079-9
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