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Tularosa Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2004

111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Few first mysteries are as fresh and powerful as this rich Southwestern tale of tough, credible characters involved in a complex, danger-fraught plot centering around stolen historical artifacts. Kevin Kerney is still recovering from the physical and psychic wounds that forced his retirement from the Santa Fe police force, when his former partner asks him to search for his son-Kerney's godson-who is AWOL from nearby White Sands Missile Range. At the top-secret base, Kerney forges an uneasy alliance with Captain Sara Brannon, an astute Army investigator. Together, they travel on horseback into the restricted San Andres Mountains and the isolated Tularosa Valley, former Apache country where Kerney grew up, and stumble on a plundered cache of military goods from the Civil War era. Escaping with their lives, they follow separate paths to discover who is selling the stolen goods to whom. The search takes them and a vivid supporting cast (notably an Army corporal who disguises himself as jorobado, a hunchback believed in Mexican tradition to bring good luck) to both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. McGarrity demonstrates firm control of his action-packed material, marking a trail with corpses (of the good and the very bad) to a tense, neatly orchestrated finale in the seamy border town of Juarez. Blending an air of the old West with some very modern characters, McGarrity delivers atmosphere, action, romance and prime satisfaction. (May) FYI: McGarrity is a former member of the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA. Kevin Kerney is a tough ex-cop turned modern-day private eye. His godson, a soldier assigned to White Sands Missile Range in desolate southern New Mexico, is reported missing. The military authorities believe he has gone AWOL, but Kerney correctly suspects foul play. He travels to Tularosa and joins forces with Captain Sara Brannon to investigate the disappearance. The two face many challenges and risks, including attempted murder, and become romantically involved while determining the innocent soldier's whereabouts. Eventually, his body is discovered. This is a fast read that also informs a bit about the Southwest, the military, and Native American traditions. An engaging mystery.?Mindy Ford, Lorton Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (February 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067100252X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671002527
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on September 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found the plot of Tularosa to be a little contrived, but the authentic feel of New Mexico has obviously been present in McGarrity's series from the beginning.
Kerney and Sara Brannon are easy to like and have a well-paced relationship in the book. There was a lot of gratuitous violence south of the border; but probably this is based in what the author has really found in his career in law enforcement in the southwest.
McGarrity struggles a little with his writing style - he paints a scenic picture well, but was just starting out in character development and dialogue.
Worth the read to start the Kerney series; the author continues to develop and satisfy the reader.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Todd on August 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really wanted to like "Tularosa." I had accidentally happened upon it while searching Amazon for books about my hometown area in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico.
Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my hopes. While I did enjoy the setting and scenic descriptions that brought back many memories, I found the plot to be too obviously contrived and much of the dialogue to be stiff and unnatural.
The story had the potential to be quite entertaining but too many times things just conveniently happened out of sheer coincidence, conveniently putting the hero (Kevin Kerney, retired cop and all-around good guy) in the right place at the right time. Heroes almost always end up in the right place at the right time, but most of them get there in ways that are more believable than in this book.
Realizing this is McGarrity's first effort in what has become a fairly popular continuing series, it may be unfair to be overly critical. I plan to give him another try with one of his later novels, but I can't recommend "Tularosa."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As soon as I saw the title of this book, I had to buy it. I grew up in Alamogordo, only a few miles down the road from Tularosa, NM. It was fun to read a mystery set in that area with familiar landmarks and history playing a big part in the plot. The author has accurately recreated the New Mexican landscape for his readers while keeping you engrossed in his work. If you haven't ever visited New Mexico, this should make you want to! I will definitely read other books by this author.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Birkett on August 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The first page contained a fantastic description of a sky. Whenever he describes clouds and sky he's great, and when he describes scenery he's very good - better than James Lee Burke but James Lee Burke does better characters. I can understand why a lover of the Southwest would love the book. But then there are passages such as " 'I've got to improvise' he whispered to himself" (That's a villain planning to kill the hero). Unlike the Hillermans I've read he does admit that some native Americans have alcohol problems and shows respect without over-idealisation. Basically it lacked enough originality to go on my great list, although I read it and will buy more of McGarrity. There are too many tough embittered ex-cops already in book form. The good guys were too good and the bad guys too bad. Terry Yazzi came alive best because he was ambivalent. I like villains with a touch of humor I can half-way root for. I think a previous reviewer said it well;Good hamburger but not great steak.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jayson Olson on November 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this up on a whim in a need to satisfy my curiosity on a south west mystery genre usually dominated by Tony Hillerman or J.A. Jance, and I was pleasantly surprised.
What you won't find here is a lot of Native American spirituality or beliefs, and gone are the all to traditional Navajo lore so custom to these books. But you will find a very well written novel that is very believable and exciting to read.
Main character Kevin Kerney (formerly a cop) has been spending the last few years in the Santa Fe area as a ranch/handy man and is approached by his former partner (and former friend) to locate his missing son. It seems Kerney's godson (a soldier out of White Sands Missile Range) is missing, and Kerney make the trip down south to locate the boy.
Enter Sara Brannon, she's a captain in the military and is in charge of the military cases on the base. Reluctant in helping Kerney at first, they soon both uncover a mystery that goes beyond just the awol soldier.
About 1/2 way through the book, a new story begins. It looks as if it is a totally separate and isolated incident from the one that Kerney and Brannon are working on, and we have the introduction of some new characters. Their adventures take them just south of the border of Texas and New Mexico into a sleazy border town in Mexico itself, run by a local drug lord. The plot reveals missing antiques worth a whole lot of money to someone. This story in itself is exciting and even becomes more so as soon, the two stories become inter-twined with each other.
With everyone after the missing goods and how this ties into some of the cases back at White Sands, a much larger conspiracy is uncovered and Kerney and Sara must do everything they can just to stay alive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Row on December 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tularosa (April 1996) The first in the Kevin Kerney series.
Tularosa -- the place of reddish willows in Spanish -- holds the key to Kevin Kerney's past and his future. Ex-chief of detectives in the Santa Fe Police department, retired by a shot-up leg, Kerney is drawn back into action when Navajo Indian Terry Yazzi, his ex-partner and the man responsible for his injuries, asks him to locate his son, reported missing from the high-security WhiteSands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
To find Sammy Yazzi, Kerney must track clues that lead deep into the histories of the region -- Native American, Hispanic,
and Anglo -- and surprisingly, into his own family's ranching past. And he must deal with the complicated feelings
triggered by the army's investigator, Captain Sara Brannon, a fiery young officer as formidable as she is attractive.
As Sammy Yazzi's trail spirals into a web of murder, treason, and the smuggling of priceless artefacts, Kerney and Sara
travel an accelerating arc across the New Mexico scene -- from the boutique-ridden plaza of Santa Fe, through the sharp-edged beauty of the high desert, to bordertown gambling dens -- to a final confrontation in which, both wounded and at risk, they must fight for their lives and for each other against opponent who hold all the odds.
There are several appealing aspects to McGarrity's Kevin Kerney series. One is the spectacular background of Sante Fe and New Mexico the author has chosen as the locale for his continuing series. You CAN pick up any of the Kevin Kerney books and without too much trouble be swept up in the strengths and weaknesses of Chief Kerney, but it is a bit easier to start with the first in the series (Tularosa) to not feel too lost in the character interaction.
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