New Release Books by Michael McGarrity

Michael McGarrity is the author of Head Wounds (2021), Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel (2018), The Last Ranch (2017), Backlands (2015) and other 46 books.

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Head Wounds

release date: Nov 09, 2021
Head Wounds
Clayton Istee, son of retired police chief Kevin Kerney, goes up against an elusive Mexican hitman in a mesmerizing story of murder, revenge, and redemption.

Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel

release date: Oct 30, 2018
Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel
Former police chief Kevin Kerney returns—this time as the prime suspect in a brutal cold-case murder investigation. Against the backdrop of the harsh desert and high mountain country of southwestern New Mexico, a high-octane quest for the truth untangles a complex history of dark family secrets, cold-blooded murders, rogue cops, a devastating plane crash, and the possibility of one family’s reconciliation. A long-unsolved missing person case becomes a homicide investigation when the bones of Kim Ward are unearthed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty-five years after her disappearance. Compelling forensic and anecdotal evidence quickly shifts suspicion to Ward’s old college boyfriend: former Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney. With damning evidence against him compiled by his own son, New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Clayton Istee, Kerney is arrested. He has no alibi and not a single witness to speak for him. Under intense media scrutiny and 24/7 police surveillance, Kerney must rely solely on the help of his wife, Sara, and a renowned criminal defense lawyer to discover if there are any remaining clues that can exonerate him or lead to the killer. As the trio begin to reconstruct the events leading to Ward’s murder, Istee reexamines his suspicions about Kerney’s guilt and decides to risk everything to help prove his father’s innocence. Working together to identify one person who can clear Kerney’s name and expose the killer, the four soon discover that Ward’s murder isn’t the only crime to be solved.

The Last Ranch

release date: May 02, 2017
The Last Ranch
The great saga of an American ranching family that gripped readers in the New York Times bestselling novel Hard Country and its sequel, Backlands, concludes in The Last Ranch, the final, mesmerizing novel in Michael McGarrity’s powerful and richly authentic American West trilogy. When Matthew Kerney returns to his ranch in the remote, beautiful San Andres Mountains of New Mexico, honorably discharged after serving in Sicily during World War II, he must not only endeavor to recover physically and emotionally from a devastating combat injury, but he must also fight attempts by the U.S. Army to seize control of his land for expanded weapons testing. Yet keeping his land is only half the battle as he struggles with an aging father no longer able to carry his load at the ranch, an ex-convict intent on killing him, and a failing relationship with a woman he dearly loves. As Matt’s personal and family life unravels, a punishing drought pushes him to the brink of ruin, and he is forced to draw upon all his mental and physical resources to keep his world—and the people in it—from collapsing. Spanning the era from World War II to the end of the Vietnam conflict, The Last Ranch enthralls with the deeply rich, sometimes heartbreaking Kerney family saga as it steps brilliantly into the mid-twentieth-century world of the new American West.

Backlands

release date: May 05, 2015
Backlands
In the New York Times bestselling Hard Country, Michael McGarrity gave readers “an expansive, lyrical period Western in the tradition of A. B. Guthrie Jr. and Larry McMurtry” (Hampton Sides). Now McGarrity continues his richly authentic epic of life on the last vestiges of the twentieth-century American frontier. Scarred by the loss of an older brother he idolized, estranged from a father he barely knows, and deeply troubled by the failing health of a mother he adores, young Matthew Kerney is suddenly and irrevocably forced to set aside his childhood and take on responsibilities far beyond his years. When the world spirals into the Great Depression and drought settles like a plague over the nation, Matt must abandon his own dreams to salvage the Kerney ranch. Plunged into a deep trough of dark family secrets, hidden crimes, broken promises, and lies, Matt must struggle to survive on the unforgiving, sun-blasted Tularosa Basin.

Hard Country

release date: Jan 01, 2013
Hard Country
Struggling with the death of his wife in childbirth at the end of the 19th century, John Kerney gives up his Texas ranch to pursue the outlaws responsible for his brother's murder and participates in nearly half a century of turbulent history in New Mexico Territory. By the Anthony Award-nominated author of Dead or Alive.

Hermit's Peak

release date: Feb 12, 2013
Hermit's Peak
Hermit’s Peak is a seminal novel in the crime fiction series that places New Mexico lawman Kevin Kerney in the pantheon with Tony Hillerman’s heroes—while carving out territory that is distinctly his own across the American Southwest. When Kevin Kerney, deputy chief of the New Mexico State Police, inherits an unexpected windfall of 6,400 acres of high-county land, the last thing he wants to think about is work. But while visiting his new property, he comes across an ailing stray dog that leads him to the butchered bones of a murder victim near the rugged mountain of Hermit's Peak. After assigning the case to his subordinates, Kerney returns to Santa Fe to spend time with a woman he cares about, Sara Brannon, a career army officer who is visiting him on holiday. But his time with Sara must wait, as he is called back to Hermit's Peak when another body is found at a remote cabin. Now, Kerney must unearth the shattering truth about his new land and follow a twisting trail of blood through the majestic landscape of the American Southwest.

Serpent Gate

release date: Feb 12, 2013
Serpent Gate
After receiving a call from the newly appointed chief of the New Mexico State Police, ex-Santa Fe chief of detectives Kevin Kerney is thrown into an investigation of a small-town cop-killing no one has been able to solve. His only lead: a homeless schizophrenic's ramblings about rape and an uncharted place called Serpent Gate. Meanwhile, back in Santa Fe, priceless art is stolen from the governor's offices and a beautiful young blonde is murdered in a millionaire's mansion. Kerney follows a trail of clues to Mexico, where he faces off against an old nemesis with powerful government connections. Unwilling to back down, Kerney must use all of his tenacity, raw courage, and knowledge of the criminal mind in a bloody showdown that may cost him his life.

Mexican Hat: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels)

release date: Jul 04, 2011
Mexican Hat: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels)
"Michael McGarrity is the real deal." —Boston Globe With his dazzling debut, Tularosa, Michael McGarrity was hailed "a born storyteller" (Denver Post)—and introduced readers to a memorable new hero, ex-Santa Fe chief of detectives Kevin Kerney. Now, featuring his vivid feel for the southwest, McGarrity's second gripping novel hurls Kerney onto the toughest case of his life. Taking a job as a seasonal forest ranger in New Mexico's Gila Wilderness, Kevin Kerney is looking forward to a quiet summer high in the mountains. But the murder of a Mexican tourist, and the discovery of a disoriented old man in the wild, thrust Kerney into an investigation that will carry him back in time to a sixty-year-old feud between two land-rich brothers, Edgar and Eugene Cox. Enlisting young state game and fish officer Jim Stiles to help solve the crimes, Kerney slowly uncovers evidence connecting the ruthless Cox feud with another suspicious death—and the radical actions of New Mexico's present-day county militia. But new assistant district attorney Karen Cox—Edgar's alluring daughter—is torn between hiding her father's long-buried secret and helping Kerney find the truth. Now someone wants Kerney dead—and the deeper he investigates, the more he may be digging his own grave...

Tularosa: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels)

release date: Jul 04, 2011
Tularosa: A Kevin Kerney Novel (Kevin Kerney Novels)
"Mystery fans shouldn't miss Tularosa. Michael McGarrity's first entry in the field moves like lightning. An ex-cop, he knows what he's writing about—and how to write it." —Tony Hillerman It's been two years since an on-the-job shooting forced ex-Santa Fe chief of detectives Kevin Kerney to retire. He is drawn back into action when Terry Yazzi, his former partner and the man responsible for his wounds, pleads for Kerney's help. Yazzi's son, a soldier, has disappeared in the barren desert surrounding the White Sands Missile Range. Kerney's investigation resurrects the long-forgotten thrill of the hunt—and other emotions surface after meeting the tough-but-beautiful Capt. Sara Brannon, the Army's investigating officer. Together, they uncover a crime far greater than an AWOL soldier: a conspiracy of death that snakes from the secretive world of military operations, to the cutthroat alleys of a Mexican border town, leading them to a final, shocking revelation that may cost them both their lives. Tularosa is the first book in McGarrity's "Kevin Kerney" crime series.

Dead Or Alive

release date: Jan 01, 2009
Dead Or Alive
Racing to his New Mexico ranch home after a disturbing phone call, retired Santa Fe police chief Kevin Kerney is horrified to learn that his horse-training partner, Riley Burke, has been murdered by an escaped prisoner, prompting Kerney to team up with his half-Apache son. 40,000 first printing.

Death Song

release date: Jan 01, 2008

Nothing But Trouble

release date: Dec 05, 2006
Nothing But Trouble
Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney is back in the tenth and most entertaining novel in Michael McGarrity's acclaimed mystery series. After years away on the pro rodeo circuit, Johnny Jordan struts into Santa Fe to ask his boyhood friend, Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney, to serve as a technical advisor on a contemporary Western movie to be filmed along the Mexican border. Kerney agrees and plans a working vacation on location, in a remote area of the state known as the Bootheel, with his wife, Lt. Colonel Sara Brannon, and their three-year-old son, Patrick. But, a dead man on the road near an isolated border crossing, a federal undercover investigation into immigrant smuggling, the search for a fugitive from military justice hiding somewhere in Europe, and Johnny Jordan's troublesome behavior all ensure that nothing goes as planned. As separate investigations embroil them in circumstances that will forever change their lives, Kerney must care for Patrick while Sara plays a dangerous game of Pentagon politics. Packed with family secrets, international intrigue, and memorable characters, this is McGarrity's most ambitious and involving novel to date-- traveling an accelerating arc from Santa Fe to the desert grasslands and mountains of the Bootheel, to the most secret levels of the Pentagon, to a resort town on the coast of Ireland, and back to an adrenaline-charged climax on a desolate landing strip a few miles north of the Mexican border.

Slow Kill

release date: Aug 02, 2005
Slow Kill
Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney travels to a California ranch looking to buy some prime quarter horse breeding stock. Instead, he finds himself the prime suspect in a possible homicide when the ranch owner, Clifford Spalding, is found dead. Confronted by a determined cop unwilling to let him off the hook, Kerney decides to conduct his own investigation. As he digs into the victim's background, he learns that Spalding's ex-wife refuses to believe that her son, a soldier killed in Vietnam some thirty years ago, is dead. Kerney digs deeper and soon finds himself sharing the woman's doubts: Did Spalding's current wife, a much younger woman, orchestrate his murder with the help of a lover? Did a California cop collude with Spalding to keep his ex-wife from learning the truth about her son? Slow Kill races from West Coast to East Coast, as Kerney tries to extricate himself from a situation that could ruin his career by finding the answers to a thirty-year-old mystery.

Everyone Dies

release date: Aug 03, 2004
Everyone Dies
With "a cunning mind for crime fiction" (New York Times Book Review), Anthony Award-nominated Michael McGarrity ratchets up the stakes in his novel of a vengeful killer with an unspeakable agenda: offing people with ties to the criminal justice system. Next on the list: Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney, his wife, Lieutenant Colonel Sara Brannon, and their unborn son.

The Big Gamble

release date: Aug 05, 2003
The Big Gamble
Michael McGarrity's acclaimed Santa Fe police chief, Kevin Kerney is back-with his estranged son. Two bodies have been found in a burned building. One is a missing person from Kerney's cold case files. The other is a more recent homicide. Both will lead father and son into a vast network of crime...and the darkest places of the soul.

Under the Color of Law

release date: Jul 01, 2001
Under the Color of Law
Newly-installed Santa Fe police chief Kevin Kerney receives a deadly welcome when a U.S. ambassador's ex-wife is brutally stabbed to death in her home. But before Kerney can begin to investigate, the FBI closes the case with trumped-up evidence. And the harder Kerney hunts for the truth, the more he knows that he may not survive the chase.

The Judas Judge

release date: May 01, 2001
The Judas Judge
In a remote New Mexico campground, six people are killed in an apparently senseless murder spree. Deputy State Police Chief Kevin Kerney suspects the slaying wasn’t random at all—but rather a calculated plot to eliminate one high-profile victim, retired judge, Vernon Langsford. In piecing together the judge’s shocking past, Kerney discovers the victim’s predilection for sexual indiscretions, a history of family betrayal and greed, and a dark marriage that ended mysteriously and violently. But as Kerney gets closer to the heart of a terrible crime, it’s a woman from his own past who emerges with a stunning secret of her own.

Improving Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism Cooperation

release date: Oct 20, 2020
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