cover image Statute of Limitations: A Posadas County Mystery

Statute of Limitations: A Posadas County Mystery

Steven F. Havill, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-312-33630-1

Things go from bad to worse in Posadas, N.Mex., at the start of Havill's appealing fourth Posadas County mystery (after 2004's Convenient Disposal ). First, Chief of Police Eduardo Martinez suffers a heart attack while confronting car thieves on Christmas eve; Sheriff Robert Torrez has a pulmonary embolism Christmas morning; a deputy's fiancée is murdered that afternoon; and former sheriff Bill Gastner is brutally attacked that night. It's enough for under-sheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman to keep up with the medical reports, never mind track down the perps. As Estelle races from crime scene to hospital to home and back again, she's keenly aware of time slipping away and with it the criminals. The initial flood of characters and Estelle having to deal with her musically gifted son, Fernando, may make newcomers feel as if they've walked into the middle of a movie. But once Havill gets into the police work, the story becomes more focused. Descriptions are as spare as the Southwest desert, and the action gallops along to a satisfyingly thrilling ending. (Mar.)