Michael McGarrity. Norton, $25.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-393-63435-8
Multiple plot contrivances mar bestseller McGarrity’s 13th mystery featuring former police chief Kevin Kerney (after 2008’s Dead or Alive). Kevin is looking forward to celebrating his wife Sara Brannon’s retirement from the U.S. Army when he gets a call from Isabel Istee—the mother of his New Mexico state policeman son, Clayton—who informs him that he’s about to be arrested for murder. Flash back eight days to a groundbreaking ceremony for an artist-in-residence center, whose attendees include Clayton, the Spanish ambassador to the U.S., and the New Mexico governor. To the horror of those assembled, the backhoe unearths a human skeleton, subsequently identified as belonging to Kim Ward, a college friend of Kevin’s who spent the night with him on the property back in 1973. The discovery of a gun near the remains matching one that Kevin reported missing two days after he spent time with Kim strengthens the case against him. The search for Kim’s murderer lacks suspense, and readers without prior investment in the characters and their interpersonal dynamics aren’t likely to be captivated by them. Agent: Marcy Posner, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/16/2018
Genre: Fiction
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