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Everyone Dies Mass Market Paperback – 3 Aug 2004

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx Books (3 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451411471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451411471
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 425,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Jack Potter, perhaps the most successful and best known attorney in Santa Fe, had recently attended a gay rights costume ball dressed as Lady Justice. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Oskam on 8 Jan 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kevin Kerney is chief of police in Santa Fe, his wife is due to give birth to their first son and he is building a house. More than enough to cope with without some oddball coming after you with a vengeance, threatening to kill your whole family. And this guy is serious and deranged: people and animals around Kevin are being murdered and his grown-up son's house is blown to pieces. And all the while nearly the whole police force of Santa Fe is involved in trying to track the killer down before he can murder their boss and his family. But the guy is smart and not easy to catch: he has made quite a few false tracks. Until things start to go wrong for him and slowly but surely his plan is starting to go to pieces.

This was my first encounter with this series starring Kevin Kerney. He is definitely a very real life police man and the way in which his team tackles the problems is also very believable, which can be explained by the fact that the author was a deputy sheriff in Santa Fe is a very probable explanation for this. The plot is ingenious, even though the reader knows in the end who the killer is. And the descriptions of the landscape, though not disrupting the flow of the story, make you long to go to New Mexico to see for yourself. A very enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 51 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
(4+) An Excellent Police Procedural By A Former Lawman 20 Aug 2003
By Tucker Andersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This could have been subtitled MURDER CLOSE UP AND PERSONAL. It is the first novel that I have read by Michael McGarrity, and is a tense and succinct story in the police procedural genre whose realism stems from the fact that it is written by a former sheriff who has been there and done that. The detailed descriptions and insightful observations throughout the book clearly ring true because of the author's background and training. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that the story occurs within a very compressed time period, both the level of detail and complications introduced by the subplots made it seem to progress in an orderly fashion rather than the nonstop pace of much of contemporary crime oriented fiction. This and the New Mexico locale clearly are partially responsible for the similarities to Tony Hillerman's books upon which others have commented.
The basic storyline is simplicity itself. A well known local attorney (and friend of Police Chief Kevin Kerney) is gunned down outside his Santa Fe office. There are no witnesses and relatively little evidence, so in the search for a motive the police begin an investigation into both his professional cases and his personal life (he was gay). The investigation turns disastrous when two innocent people die, perhaps as the result of the overzealous pursuit of an apparent suspect who is totally innocent of any involvement in the crime. Then Kerney's horse is viciously destroyed, his pregnant wife threatened, and the discovery of another victim is accompanied by a note that the end result will be that EVERYONE DIES.
This a story in which the tension builds as the book proceeds, both for Kerney and his wife Sara and for the reader. It is like you are watching someone assemble the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, but where you know what the picture looks like and he doesn't. This is because the story is written from multiple perspectives, sometimes in the third person but also from the viewpoint of several of the participants including that of the murderer. Thus, the reader gradually understands the motivations behind the acts of violence and eventually learns the identity of the killer, but in a way that heightens the tension. (Remember. this is not a detective story, the mystery for the reader is what will happen, not who did it.)
The book provides an interesting profile of a genuine psychopath and the cleverness involved in his acts. And there are some wonderful philosophical insights as well, my favorite probably was how the investigation led Cruz Tofoya to observe how the ripple effect of murder always seemed to destroy so many lives beyond that of the victims.
While I really enjoyed the book, there are a few reasons why it did not rise to the level of a five star rating. First, the violence was quite graphic in spots, especially with regard to the animals involved. (Although arguably essential to the story, it is not to my taste.) Second, the ending was quite abrupt and one of a few instances near that conclusion that seemed somewhat unrealistic. While, I can't discuss them without revealing more of the plot than what is on the book jacket, it seemed at times the author chose to reach his desired results by having some of the individuals act somewhat out of character. Third, the book would have been improved considerably for me by the simple expedient of including a map of the area. I was reading most of it where a map was not readily available; I am not familiar with New Mexico and while such geographic knowledge was not essential there are numerous references to the various locales and I would have really enjoyed referring to a map on the front overleaf.
One final suggestion is that if you are not familiar with Kevin Kerney, the recurring protagonist of McGarrity's books, you might want to read the previous volume before this book. I wish that I had. In THE BIG GAMBLE, Kerney investigates a case with another lawman, Clayton Istee, a son whose existence his Indian mother had kept secret from Kerney. Since Istee plays a pivotal role in this story (both in terms of the investigation and emotionally for Kerney), the background of that book would have been helpful.
Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, I was furnished a review copy of this book by the publisher based my interest in this genre as evidenced by my previous reviews of similar books. I have no relationship and have never met either the author or anyone employed by the publisher, and furnished no guarantee that I would even submit a review. If anything, in order to prove my objectivity I perhaps presented my criticisms in more detail than they deserve. Nevertheless, people in my business have belatedly learned too much disclosure is preferable to not enough, so this addendum is offered in that spirit.
Tucker Andersen
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Not everyone dies 6 Oct 2003
By gotta run now - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having never read Michael McGarrity fiction, I am unable to compare this novel with previous works in what is apparently a series. I actually did not know it was a series until I read it somewhere, so that certainly says something.
I like crime fiction, and the challenge of figuring out "who done it". It's disappointing when it's too easy. That didn't happen here. The story begins with the murder of a prominent gay attorney. There are several angles to be explored, but nothing stands out that makes the victim an obvious target. Our protaganist, Kevin Kerney, is pulled off his vacation to try to solve the crime. He is then yanked smack dab into the middle of the mystery when his beloved horse is killed in a cruel way. It all becomes very personal when a dead rat is delivered to his doorstep along with threats toward his pregnant wife and the rest of his family.
I won't go into the details, you should read them for yourself! There are plot twists, interesting characters, real personalities. The Santa Fe setting is a refreshing departure from the usual gritty New York crime novels. The fact that the author is a former detective adds authenticity.
Now that I know it's a series, I will definitely look for the others and catch up with these characters. Overall, a fine book that I recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery and/or crime fiction.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
So-so McGarrity, But Always a Superior Mystery 15 Sep 2004
By tertius3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been an avid reader of McGarrity's Kevin Kerney police novels since the first, because he is a highly skilled writer, the plots move quickly and smoothly, the characters are quirky and intuitive, Chief Kerney is very empathetic, and the scenic descriptions take me right back to New Mexico state. Despite the provocations of sociopathic killers, Kerney always remains laconic and cool, in control of his emotions and, seemingly, the events. For good or ill in its attractiveness to the reader, the author never ratchets terror high, even when a killer stewed in revenge, as here, intends it.

My total enjoyment of this story had only two blemishes. Midway through, the author mistakenly let us see how the murderer is planting a false trail (rather than let us make that chilling conclusion). Rather than a clever twist in the plot, this view quite took the rising suspense out of the next 50 pages for me. (Perhaps McGarrity should be excused, in view of the subsequent shocking twist he gives to the "false" suspect.) Second, the ending was too rushed, both as a scene and relative to the intricate build up to it. The climax was too vaguely described, leaving me in doubt as to who had their finger on the final trigger. Minor disappointments are that we never do find out all the ways in which the killer got his incredibly detailed info on his targets; and Kerney allows his wife, Sara Brannon, a military policewoman, to insist on committing a great breakdown in discipline, leading to a more dangerous final confrontation.

Thankfully, this is the first time McGarrity has used the plot device--targeting and terrorizing the hero's family--that, repeated, turned me right off of later Cornwall and Patterson mystery series. I'd not like to lose McGarrity, too. The art on recent covers is too generic, urban even, which the horse-loving rancher/policeman Kerney is not at all about; the art should return to New Mexican scenes of the earlier and strongly atmospheric books, please.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Delightfully surprised! 4 Feb 2004
By Trisha E. Lisk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of Michael McGarrity, and found the cover and the plot summary both a bit off-putting, and wasn't expecting to like this book. I was delightfully surprised to discover that unlike many writers in the murder, mayhem and mystery genre, McGarrity didn't slipslide at all into the murky depths of horrifying psychotic evil, gratuitous garbage-language,-sex,-blood,-gore and cruelty, and wallow there for several hundred pages.
He wrote a book about a psychotic killer, yes, but he didn't allow his writing to sink to the level of the killer. It's a very good book with breadth and depth even with a "less-is-more" control over the verbiage, which I like and respect. His story line and characters are engaging. The mystery is compellingly presented. I finished it and rushed to my nearest bookstore to buy all the other Mike McGarrity murder, mayhem and mystery books and have since read them and found them as engaging as Everybody Dies! Keep on writing, Mr. McGarrity!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More down time 13 Nov 2003
By John Bowes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This excellent series continues with a procedural that needs more of Kerney, and a little less of the spare step by step police investigation.
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