Hard Country (Dutton, $28.95)

hard-country_Michael-McGarrity_sheriff-pat-garret_billy-the-kidEx-cop Michael McGarrity is known for his police procedural mysteries featuring Santa Fe police chief Kevin Kerney (Tularosa, Dead or Alive). McGarrity’s love of New Mexico, the law and history, however, reaches beyond contemporary settings.

Proof can be found in Hard Country, a 624-page historical epic—the first of a planned trilogy—set in southern New Mexico that features Kerney’s ancestors as they attempt to tame a harsh environment and their own personal demons. Spanning 1875 to 1918, Hard Country is ambitious, often brutal, always moving. As usual, McGarrity’s characters are as hard as the land, his plot lively and his research rock solid. —Johnny D. Boggs

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