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Badwater Mass Market Paperback – 27 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing Company (27 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440242193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440242192
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,287,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
strong police procedural 27 April 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Wyoming State Police Special investigator Antonio "Ant" Burns is depressed since his life is collapsing. From being a law enforcement superstar to someone who is on unofficial "probation" for an incident at a prison when he used unwanted force, Ant knows he must watch his step or else lose the badge. Worse, he badly misses his infant daughter living in Denver with her mother. Finally the most dismal assault on his psyche is his guilty memory that his actions almost killed his brother, leaving him disfigured. Only mountain climbing gives him a reprieve from his feelings of failure.

Currently, he assists the prosecution on a high visibility case in which the defendant is accused of negligence leading to the drowning death of a ten-year-old boy. The townsfolk of Badwater want the accused tourist convicted of murder. However, Ant finds interesting evidence that will radically change the perspective of the case though no one seems interested in what he has uncovered. Instead the attorneys on both sides work for themselves as neither camp cares about a deceased child or a despondent tourist languishing in jail. Alone or perhaps with his sibling at his side if he can muster the courage to ask, Ant risks becoming a victim too.

In his latest rock climbing case, Ant is over the edge in freefall with failures in his personal life leading to job fiascos. The investigation is shrewdly developed to insure Ant's woes get in the way and that regardless of his findings the dueling legal teams only care about furthering their careers. Fans of strong police procedurals will appreciate this fine tale in which Lady Macbeth would envy the lawyers.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
McKinzie has run out of line! 8 Mar. 2011
By Ghenghis - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very disappointing follow up to "Crossing the Line". Depressing actually.

Since McKinzie has gone on haitus for the past 5 years its easy to see that
his creative spark is GONE! This book leads us down the dreary path of loss
after loss after loss directed at Antonio Burns, with seemingly no hope of
recovery. And thats how we are left, with a defanged lone wolf with no badge,
no friends, and no better half.

Trust me, if you have just discovered this series and are, or think you are
a fan, do NOT read this book. Its terrible.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Explosive Mix of Idealists, Politicians, and Rednecks 16 July 2005
By L. Kelly - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Wyoming cop Antonio Burns is at a crossroads in his career, having been recently demoted from a top undercover agent to a mere scout. His unofficial new job description consists of cruising the backroads of Wyoming, searching for clandestine methamphetamine labs. One afternoon, while searching for clues of illegal drug manufacturing,, "Ant" hears shouts at the Badwater river, goes to investigate, and ends up diving into the river in an attempt to rescue a 10-year old boy who has fallen into the river. Although Ant manages to pull the boy out of the water, the young drowning victim is declared dead on arrival at the hospital. Anton questions the people on the scene who witnessed the boy's fall into the river and finds out that the young boy and two of his cousins were harassing tourists rafting in the river by throwing rocks at them from the cliff above, and Jonah Strasburg, a New York musician, became involved in a shoving match with the boys and accidentally pushed the victim off the cliff.

However, with the political climate in town and the local townspeople's hunger for revenge for the boy's drowning, Jonah quickly finds himself being charged with first degree murder. And Antonio Burns finds himself assigned as the lead investigator for the prosecution. Antonio is a good cop at heart, though, and feels that a first degree murder charge is way too trumped up for an accidental death. The drama of small town politics quickly unfolds in this excellent story. Author McKinzie does a great job of making the small town characters seem true to life.

Besides his burning desire to see real justice served, Antonio Burns also has a burning passion for rock climbing. In particular, Burns is determined to conquer what he believes to be the most difficult "fat crack" in the world in a canyon near Badwater. I enjoyed the technical details of the climb as well.

This was the first Antonio Burns novel that I've read, although it is the fifth one written by McKinzie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I plan to go back and read the others. If you're looking for a great police procedural set in the West, I highly recommend this book!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First-Rate Storytelling 9 May 2005
By Bookreporter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Over the past several years Clinton McKinzie has been busily establishing a mythos surrounding his creation, Wyoming State Police Special Agent Antonio Burns. Burns has been portrayed as an over-the-top cop who is barely able to keep in check the demons that run rampant over his older brother, Roberto. The most recent novel in the series, the appropriately named CROSSING THE LINE, concluded with Roberto being maimed for life by a dangerous drug lord and with Antonio excising a brutal but appropriate revenge. While the series always has been strong, it is BADWATER --- McKinzie's latest novel --- that fulfills the promise of his previous efforts and that propels him, and Antonio Burns, to must-read status.

BADWATER finds Antonio Burns sidelined to hunting methamphetamine labs and reporting their presence to his state headquarters, where his reports will be acted upon or, more often than not, consigned to waste in a backwash of budget cuts and mismatched priorities. It is while hunting one of these labs that Burns stumbles upon the aftermath of a scene that will ultimately bring the repercussions for his past actions to a head and that will directly and indirectly affect the direction of his life.

The scene involves the drowning of a ten-year-old Badwater, Wyoming boy who dies in spite of Burns's best and most valiant efforts. The townspeople want Jonah Strasburg, the tourist who precipitated the drowning, charged with murder, even though there are serious questions as to whether or not the man was defending himself against an attack from the dead boy and his cousins. Burns, unwillingly involved as part of the prosecution's team, finds that the proceedings have little to do with justice. Luke Endow, the prosecutor, is a former special agent and is Burns's former partner. Up for re-election in a hotly contested race, Endow plans on bringing the force of his office to bear against Strasburg, who is primarily guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Matters are further complicated when William J. Bogey becomes involved in Strasburg's defense. Bogey, a celebrity lawyer whose star has begun to fade, sees his defense of Strasburg as just the ticket to resuscitate his fading career. Endow and Bogey, as it turns out, have an embittered history and neither is willing to give an inch. Burns is determined to see that Strasburg receives a fair trial and that he lives long enough to receive it. Burns finds that he must enlist the aid not only of his brother Roberto but also an unlikely ally on the defense team. When Burns is the subject of an apparently heartless betrayal, he finds that he ultimately must rely only upon himself to see that mercy, and justice, are applied in equal and appropriate measure --- even if it means that he must function outside of the law he has sworn to uphold.

McKinzie's narrative thread is straightforward and uncluttered by complexity, while maintaining an unpredictable storyline during which literally anything can happen, and usually does. Burns's life takes another twist or two here, leaving one to wonder whether the conclusion of BADWATER is an end, a new beginning, or a little of both. What is really important here, however, is McKinzie's first-rate storytelling, which enables even readers encountering Burns for the first time to feel familiar and comfortable with a storyline that gradually has been unfolding over the course of several novels. And while Burns's --- and McKenzie's --- predilection with rock climbing might be off-putting to those not similarly addicted, in this novel it serves as more of an allegory than as a backdrop to the main story.

You'll want to put BADWATER at the top of your summer reading list.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Antonio's Trials 23 Aug. 2006
By Ben F. Small - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Once again Antonio Burns has found a way to the dark side, where rules, procedures and politics clash with the right thing to do. And once again, Antonio is ready to risk it all, slide down that rope of despair as his reputation, job and liberty are threatened, all because he's doing the right thing. Poor guy, just can't get a break.

Antonio's not one to mess with, especially when he feels he's on a mission. He meets his challenges head-on: "QuickDraw" fits him.

But everything has turned to dust in Antonio's life: his brother's a cripple; he's lost the respect of his mentor and boss; he's being investigated by the DEA for a drug lord's disappearance in Mexico; his fiance's left him; his new baby cries when he visits, and his latest love has betrayed him.

Poor guy just can't get a break.

And now he's got steroid junkies and tweakers on his trail, and an innocent kid is being railroaded to a life term. Worse yet, Antonio's about to be fired.

So why not get away from it all? Go scale an impossible mountain. Commit suicide by rock. Rip yourself to shreds on outcroppings or sling yourself into granite. Or gaze at the Wyoming sky.

And then make things right...

Clinton McKinzie has scored again with this, his fifth Antonio Burns story. Antonio may be out of work and lacking friends, but he's still my guy. Bravo! Can't wait for the next adventure.
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