cover image Way Down on the High Lonely: A Neal Carey Mystery

Way Down on the High Lonely: A Neal Carey Mystery

Don Winslow. St. Martin's Press, $19.95 (279pp) ISBN 978-0-312-09934-3

Edgar-nominee Winslow springs his wry New York protagonist, Neal Carey, from a forced stint in a Chinese monastery (don't ask, just read Trail to Buddha's Mirror ) and into a '90s Wild West odyssey with more surprises than a hatful of rattlesnakes. The unnamed bank for which Neal and his stepfather work (in ``a shadow department that handled difficult problems for its larger investors'') taps Neal to retrieve two-year-old Cody McCall, snatched by his divorced dad and taken to the wild backcountry of Nevada: the High Lonely. Neal's boss also wants to get the goods on the True Christian Identity Church, a vicious white supremacist organization to which Cody's father belongs. Signing on as a cowhand at racist Bob Hansen's ranch, Neal infiltrates the group by presenting himself as a ``fund-raiser' for Hansen's thugs. Seduced by Nevada ranch life and a local schoolmarm, he ignores orders to come home. His superiors at the bank concoct grand scams that go zanily awry, lead to the chase and wind up with a gunfight at an old corral. The womenfolk hold their own, the setting is True West and the wit is drier than sagebrush. Winslow deftly balances hard-edged action with characters to really care about, all described in swift, sharp prose. (Nov.)