About the Book:

A rattlesnake fang pegged in a teenager’s eye is just the beginning of a spring day for Posadas Undersheriff Estelle Guzman. The injured lad’s older brother goes missing, and is found dead in an arroyo, apparently killed by his cartwheeling ATV. But most puzzling is what the dead boy found moments before he was killed…an astonishing discovery that takes deputies back to a five year-old killing. Estelle and the now retired Bill Gastner find themselves looking for a murderer altogether too close to home.

Steven F. Havill lives with his wife of 40 years, Kathleen, in Ratón, New Mexico. He is the author of 21 novels set in the American west, taught secondary schools for 25 years, and recently earned an AAS degree in gunsmithing.

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Rating 1 out of 3 stars

I’m not really sure how I felt about this book even as I was reading it. Here are some of my thoughts as I was reading it:

  • The lack of urgency in solving anything – ok, so it takes place in a small town where everyone knows your name. It’s still a crime no? You still have a dead teenager who happens to be carrying a gun no one knows where it came from. Once you trace the gun back to an old un-solved case, there is still no urgency. Everything is taken in stride. This may work, and me be, the way things work in reality when in small towns, but this is a book. We want drama, suspense, thrill. Reading a criminal novel in slow motion doesn’t really cut it for me.
  • The descriptions of people’s reactions were a bit lacking for me. You have a set of parents who first find out their one son has lost an eye and hours later find out their other son has tragically died, and yet you didn’t get any real sense of grief. I wish the author had spent more time exploring that. Or at least adding more adjectives. This is true for a lot of the characters in this book. Because of that, I didn’t connect with any of them and therefore didn’t really care.
  • You have two sheriffs working on a crime. The older one is male and the younger one is female. They know each other very well as they are family friends and have hung out together socially. While speaking with her, he refers to her as sweetheart. I come from a military and law enforcement family. Many of them work in divisions with other relatives. At no time do they call each other sweetheart, honey, baby or anything. That was a major turn off to me each time I read about that going on.
  • There are a couple of story lines that are left unanswered. They are somewhat noticeable as a lot of time is spent in the beginning of the book talk about it. They they sort of disappear. That was a bit jarring. I think it would have made more sense to delete the endings if they were going to be explored in the next book, but I didn’t get a sense that would be the case. There was no cliff hanger at the end.

I think this is a good book if you are looking for something quick to read. If you are looking for drama or any kind of urgency, sadly you may want to look elsewhere.

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