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Kevin Kerney Books In Order

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Publication Order of Kevin Kerney Books

Tularosa (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mexican Hat (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Serpent Gate (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hermit's Peak (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Judas Judge (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Under the Color of Law (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Big Gamble (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Everyone Dies (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Slow Kill (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nothing But Trouble (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Song (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead or Alive (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Residue (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Head Wounds (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Kevin Kerney series is a series of crime novels that follows retired Santa Fe chief of detectives Kevin Kerney as he is drawn back into action. The series is written by Michael McGarrity, a former psychotherapist and deputy sheriff who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

McGarrity spent over twenty-five years working in the world of criminal justice. He was well educated prior to going into law enforcement. He attended the University of New Mexico and then graduated from San Jose State University, earning his BA with distinction in psychology. He then went to the University of Iowa where he earned his master’s degree in clinical social work. McGarrity later attended the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy where he was an honor graduate.

During his time in criminal justice, McGarrity created treatment programs for drug offenders, supervised outreach services for at-risk juveniles, and re-established mental health services for the Department of Corrections after the infamous 1980 riot at the New Mexico Penitentiary. He also worked as a Santa Fe County deputy sheriff, patrol officer, training and planning supervisor, community relations officer, and was the lead investigator of the sex crimes unit, which he established. He also taught courses at New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy. His experience in criminal justice shines through in his writing.

As an author, McGarrity received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts — Literature and the 2015 Frank Waters Exemplary Literary Achievement Award. He has also been nominated numerous times for the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Novel. In addition to writing the Kevin Kerney series, he is also the author of the American West trilogy.

Tularosa is the first book in the Kevin Kerney series. The story begins two years after an on-the-job shooting lead Kevin Kerney to retire from the force. When his former partner, Terry Yazzi, calls him for help as his son has disappeared in the dessert near the White Sands Missile Range. Kerney will investigate and starts to get the feeling he had when he was active. He has different feelings when he meets Capt. Sara Brannon, the Army’s investigating officer. The two will team up to uncover something much larger than a missing soldier: a conspiracy that spreads from the military operations to a Mexican border town.

The Kevin Kerney series continues with Mexican Hat. After the events of the first book, Kerney decides to get back into the action by taking a job as a seasonal forest ranger in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness. It is meant to be quiet summer in the mountains, but the murder of a Mexican tourist will have him putting back on his detective hat. A disoriented old man is found in the wild which thrusts Kerney into an investigation, one that will focus on a sixty-year-old feud between two land-rich brothers, Edgar and Eugene. Kerney will uncover evidence that connects the feud between the brothers to another suspicious death as well as the actions of a New Mexico militia. The new district attorney is torn as she wants to protect her father, Edgar, but she also wants Kerney to find the truth. The deeper he digs into this investigation, the more someone wants him dead so Kerney will need to work fast.

Serpent Gate is the third book in the Kevin Kerney series of books. The story sees Kerney getting a call from the newly appointed chief of the New Mexico State Police who needs his help investigating the killing of a small-town cop. The case has been very difficult to solve as the only real lead is a homeless schizophrenic’s ramblings about a place called Serpent Gate. Back home, a piece of art has been stolen from the governor’s office and a young woman has been murdered. As he investigates, Kerney will follow a trail of clues to Mexico where he will face off against a powerful old nemesis. Kerney is unwilling back down and it will take all of his courage to survive the inevitable bloody showdown.

Another good book in the series is Hermit’s Peak. Kerney gets an unexpected windfall when he inherits 6,400 acres of high-county land. While visiting his new property he finds a stray dog which leads him to the bones of a murder victim near the mountains of Hermit’s Peak. Kerney assigns the case to some subordinates in the New Mexico State Police, but soon finds himself called back in when another body is found. He will need to look into the truth about his new land and follow the trail of blood.

Slow Kill sees Kerney traveling to a California ranch in order to buy some horse breeding stock. However, instead of buying horses he instead finds himself as a suspect in the murder of the ranch owner. A determined cop is unwilling to let him off the hook which leads to Kerney conducting his own investigation. He learns more about the rancher and finds that the rancher’s ex-wife refuses to believe their son died in Vietnam. The more he likes, the more Kerney agrees with her. He’ll need to solve a thirty-year-old mystery first if he wants to clear his own name.

Nothing But Trouble is another great book and one of the most ambitious in the series. Johnny Jordan leaves the pro rodeo circuit to ask Kerney to serve as a technical advisor on a contemporary Western movie they are shooting. He agrees and heads to the location where he gets multiple cases: a dead man on the road near an isolated border crossing, a federal undercover investigation into immigrant smuggling, and the search for a fugitive from military justice hiding somewhere in Europe. All that, plus Johnny Jordan’s troublesome behavior ensure that Kerney stays busy and nothing goes to plan. The separate investigations all have the ability to change their lives as they travel throughout the world.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Kevin Kerney

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