The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

May 30, 2008

Book review: Well-drawn characters drive 'Death Song'

‘Death Song’

By Michael McGarrity (compact disc audiobook)

“Death Song” is the 11th police procedural mystery in the Kevin Kerney series. The novel is set in northern New Mexico, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and police Chief Kerney is only a few months away from retirement.

Rookie deputy sheriff Tim Riley is killed shortly after he begins his new job with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. The deputy’s wife, Denise, is found gruesomely murdered several miles away at the couple’s home in Santa Fe. Denise was the sister of a good friend of Kerney’s; therefore he’s determined to hunt down the murderer or murderers before he retires. Kerney teams up with Police Sergeant Clayton Istee, his Mescalero Apache son, for the investigation.

The police have few clues and no known motives for the slayings. Kerney and Istee methodically search for potential suspects for the murders. One of the suspects is Brian Riley, son of the murdered deputy from a previous marriage. The investigation uncovers a drug-trafficking ring, more murders and international connections to the case.

I only recently discovered Michael McGarrity, but I have added his series to my list of “must reads.” The well-drawn characters are a joy, and the plot provides suspense to the end. George Guidall provides his usual excellent narration for McGarrity’s engrossing mystery.

The Joplin Public Library also owns the regular print version.

‘Thunder Bay’

By William Kent Kreuger (MP3 compact disc audiobook)

Northern Minnesota and bordering Ontario provide the setting for “Thunder Bay,” the seventh mystery in the Cork O’Connor series.

Cork, former sheriff turned private investigator, is approached by his friend and mentor, Objibwe medicine man Henry Meloux, to find Meloux’s son, whom he has never seen. Meloux’s single clue to finding his son is a watch with a picture of his son’s mother taken about 70 years ago. Cork is torn between a family crisis and helping his old friend locate his son.

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