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Everyone Dies: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels) Hardcover – August 18, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The questions and concerns of relationships, both everyday and extraordinary, personal and professional, lie at the heart of McGarrity's ninth entry in his Kevin Kerney series of police procedurals (The Big Gamble; Tularosa; The Judas Judge). Kerney, chief of the Santa Fe police force, and his wife, Sara Brannon, pregnant and due to give birth at any moment, have just begun a much needed vacation. Sara is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Military Police and will be assigned to the Pentagon just six weeks after the baby is born-a career move that Kerney opposes. A vicious killer slashes his way into the midst of this family crisis, beginning by shooting a Santa Fe lawyer, and in quick succession murdering Kerney's beloved horse, a forensic psychologist and a probation officer. It doesn't take long for Kerney to realize that his entire family has been targeted, especially after the killer begins leaving messages that say, "Everyone Dies." Area law enforcement personnel rally around the chief and begin a massive investigation. The large and varied supporting cast is sometimes difficult to keep straight, but McGarrity's fondness for his characters is evident, as is his love for the harsh but beautiful mountain and desert landscape they inhabit. Readers familiar with the series will be happy to settle back with the chief, his complicated family and the men and women of the department for another enjoyable installment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

McGarrity's Kevin Kerney series, set in New Mexico, has undergone a dramatic transformation over the years. At first, it played heavily on the mythic West and the difficulty of adapting rugged individualism to the modern world. Lately, the focus has shifted to the everyday life of a contemporary police chief--a good man trying to balance the contradictory roles of tough cop and sensitive husband. The new focus is far more difficult--Who wants quotidian reality when you've had a taste of mythic resonance?--but McGarrity rises to the occasion, drawing on his real-life experience as a cop and therapist. This time an unidentified psycho has his sights set on Kerney, his family, and his soon-to-be-born child. This is one serial-killer novel that unfolds without the usual high-concept trappings. McGarrity contrasts the painstaking investigatory work that leads to identifying a suspect with the personal crisis Kerney and his wife, Sara, face. Uncertain about how a child will affect their relationship, the couple must now contend with a much more immediate threat to their lives. The quiet, subtle attention to detail that has long been a hallmark of the Kerney series is once again on display here. The brooding, burned-out yet larger-than-life heroes of Ian Rankin or George Pelecanos have their appeal, yet there's plenty of room in the genre for a cop like Kevin Kearney, who broods not about the lack of meaning in his life but about finding time to help his wife decorate their new house. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Kevin Kerney Novels
  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (August 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525947612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525947615
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A real page turner!
Pamela J. Cogburn
Everyone Dies is my first Michael McGarrity book and the start of a new series I will be reading.
Jeff Jones
His lead characters are Kevin Kerney a Police Chief and his wife a very pregnant Lt.
Roger L. Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on August 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This could have been subtitled MURDER CLOSE UP AND PERSONAL. It is the first novel that I have read by Michael McGarrity, and is a tense and succinct story in the police procedural genre whose realism stems from the fact that it is written by a former sheriff who has been there and done that. The detailed descriptions and insightful observations throughout the book clearly ring true because of the author's background and training. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that the story occurs within a very compressed time period, both the level of detail and complications introduced by the subplots made it seem to progress in an orderly fashion rather than the nonstop pace of much of contemporary crime oriented fiction. This and the New Mexico locale clearly are partially responsible for the similarities to Tony Hillerman's books upon which others have commented.
The basic storyline is simplicity itself. A well known local attorney (and friend of Police Chief Kevin Kerney) is gunned down outside his Santa Fe office. There are no witnesses and relatively little evidence, so in the search for a motive the police begin an investigation into both his professional cases and his personal life (he was gay). The investigation turns disastrous when two innocent people die, perhaps as the result of the overzealous pursuit of an apparent suspect who is totally innocent of any involvement in the crime. Then Kerney's horse is viciously destroyed, his pregnant wife threatened, and the discovery of another victim is accompanied by a note that the end result will be that EVERYONE DIES.
This a story in which the tension builds as the book proceeds, both for Kerney and his wife Sara and for the reader.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By gotta run now VINE VOICE on October 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Having never read Michael McGarrity fiction, I am unable to compare this novel with previous works in what is apparently a series. I actually did not know it was a series until I read it somewhere, so that certainly says something.
I like crime fiction, and the challenge of figuring out "who done it". It's disappointing when it's too easy. That didn't happen here. The story begins with the murder of a prominent gay attorney. There are several angles to be explored, but nothing stands out that makes the victim an obvious target. Our protaganist, Kevin Kerney, is pulled off his vacation to try to solve the crime. He is then yanked smack dab into the middle of the mystery when his beloved horse is killed in a cruel way. It all becomes very personal when a dead rat is delivered to his doorstep along with threats toward his pregnant wife and the rest of his family.
I won't go into the details, you should read them for yourself! There are plot twists, interesting characters, real personalities. The Santa Fe setting is a refreshing departure from the usual gritty New York crime novels. The fact that the author is a former detective adds authenticity.
Now that I know it's a series, I will definitely look for the others and catch up with these characters. Overall, a fine book that I recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery and/or crime fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on September 15, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been an avid reader of McGarrity's Kevin Kerney police novels since the first, because he is a highly skilled writer, the plots move quickly and smoothly, the characters are quirky and intuitive, Chief Kerney is very empathetic, and the scenic descriptions take me right back to New Mexico state. Despite the provocations of sociopathic killers, Kerney always remains laconic and cool, in control of his emotions and, seemingly, the events. For good or ill in its attractiveness to the reader, the author never ratchets terror high, even when a killer stewed in revenge, as here, intends it.

My total enjoyment of this story had only two blemishes. Midway through, the author mistakenly let us see how the murderer is planting a false trail (rather than let us make that chilling conclusion). Rather than a clever twist in the plot, this view quite took the rising suspense out of the next 50 pages for me. (Perhaps McGarrity should be excused, in view of the subsequent shocking twist he gives to the "false" suspect.) Second, the ending was too rushed, both as a scene and relative to the intricate build up to it. The climax was too vaguely described, leaving me in doubt as to who had their finger on the final trigger. Minor disappointments are that we never do find out all the ways in which the killer got his incredibly detailed info on his targets; and Kerney allows his wife, Sara Brannon, a military policewoman, to insist on committing a great breakdown in discipline, leading to a more dangerous final confrontation.

Thankfully, this is the first time McGarrity has used the plot device--targeting and terrorizing the hero's family--that, repeated, turned me right off of later Cornwall and Patterson mystery series. I'd not like to lose McGarrity, too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trisha E. Lisk on February 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of Michael McGarrity, and found the cover and the plot summary both a bit off-putting, and wasn't expecting to like this book. I was delightfully surprised to discover that unlike many writers in the murder, mayhem and mystery genre, McGarrity didn't slipslide at all into the murky depths of horrifying psychotic evil, gratuitous garbage-language,-sex,-blood,-gore and cruelty, and wallow there for several hundred pages.
He wrote a book about a psychotic killer, yes, but he didn't allow his writing to sink to the level of the killer. It's a very good book with breadth and depth even with a "less-is-more" control over the verbiage, which I like and respect. His story line and characters are engaging. The mystery is compellingly presented. I finished it and rushed to my nearest bookstore to buy all the other Mike McGarrity murder, mayhem and mystery books and have since read them and found them as engaging as Everybody Dies! Keep on writing, Mr. McGarrity!
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