One of the most renowned writers of our times is Michael McGarrity. Born in 1939, Michael is master when it comes to weaving crime-suspense novels. This could be attributed the fact that he was a deputy sheriff in Santa Fe County with quite a number of accolades under his belt. One of his legacies is founding a Sex Crimes unit that has out seen his time. The New Mexican writer holds honors in English and psychology and a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of New Mexico and the University of Iowa respectively. He also graduated from the New Mexico law Enforcement Academy. Michael McGarrity has also worked alongside the New Mexico Public defender’s office as an investigator and case worker. One of the impacts that he has had is the rehabilitation of prisoners through various programs especially after the riot at the New Mexico State penitentiary in 1980. Michael has also played part in passing on law enforcement education to students in a number of universities including the New Mexico law Enforcement Academy. He is known to have published a number of articles concerning therapy for children, drug intervention treatments and programming assessment and evaluation in counseling programs.
He was awarded the Santa Fe’s Police Officer of the year’ award in 1987. One of his great attributes was the ability to work in high risk areas including the mentally ill, drug abusers, gang bangers, juvenile delinquents, neglected and abused children among others. He has helped rehabilitate many mentally ill patients as well as set up programmes for the same in New Mexico. This has immensely contributed to his crime suspense novels. Michael McGarrity turned to writing fulltime after the release of Tularosa’. He had maintained family based therapy for a while before this for a number of years. McGarrity still lives in Santa Fe New Mexico with Emily Beth, his college sweetheart. Some of his greatest achievements include the establishment of McGarrity Creative Writing Scholarship based at the University of New Mexico, the establishment of the N. Scott Momaday Creative Writing Scholarship based at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the establishment of the Richard Bradford Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship based at the Santa Fe Community college. This has also made him a favorite in New Mexico when it comes to law enforcement.
Michael McGarrity has authored a number of books since Tularosa including Mexican hat in 1997, Serpent gate in 1998, hermit’s peak in 1999 and the Judas judge in 2000. One of his latest works is Backlands’ in 2014 among many others. Most of his books are based on the New Mexico area deriving from his vast knowledge form working with crime in the area. His work is fused with a real life set up that can only be derived from a one on one encounter with some of the most twisted minds from the criminal justice world. This is what probably makes his work riveting.
Serpent Gate’ is a powerful suspense novel involving a retired law enforcer known as Kevin Kerney. Kevin is hired by the New Mexico State place chief to help in an investigation involving the murder of a patrolman. Paul Gillespie is murdered in Mountainair town. Kerney is a man of brilliance and intuition which leads him to Robert Cordova, a homeless schizophrenic. The unfortunate thing about all this is that this is all he has as a lead in his case at this point. He must use his persistence to open more possibilities of the case and bring in more suspects for the case to be cracked wide open. The case soon spirals to rape and a place known as Serpent Gate. All this leads to one difficult conclusion of the case. Baca appoints Kevin deputy chief after the offices of the governor are robbed of $8 million worth of art piece. Enrique DeLeon, the Mexican drug lord well know from Tularosa and Mexican Hat’ is behind the theft alongside a businessman in Santa Fe. He helps the Drug lord launder the money via real estate and various investments so as to kill the trail. In a twist of events the governor’s nephew is discovered to be part of the plot alongside his law partner. The suspense novel mangles politics and law enforcement brilliantly bringing Kevin Kerney at logger heads with Deleon’s thugs. The now missing Cordova strings his suspicions about the involvement of all the suspects all the way to Serpent Gate where Cordova went missing. McGarrity manages to combine the theft and the murders into one compelling story that rivets the reader through and through. His work of art flows through the lives of police enforcers in New Mexico never disconnecting for the sequels.
The Judas Judge
In this compelling sequel, Kevin Kerney the now deputy chef of police is considering retirement to work in a ranch. Weeks away from his retirement, six murders occur in New Mexico at a remote camping area. The evidence leads to a spree killer but with a few glitches. The murder includes five people shot at random and judge. The only explanation through Kevin’s insight and the evidence on the murder scene is that the 5 were murdered to cover the judge’s murder. The judge is also a wealthy business man which widens the circle of perpetrators that would have w wanted to get at him. Kevin then embarks on a search for the ruthless spree killer while probing into the judge’s life. Vernon Langsford life reveals quite a number of possible suspects through a number of possible motives. It also brings a new twist with Langsford son calling his father The Judas Judge without any remorse. As Kerney gets closer to the truth, he is stalked and harassed by an unknown man bringing his to a deadly gunfight with a dirty cop. Kerney is also left in a dilemma about quitting the police job thanks to the happenings. The on goings would go on to help him make a decision whether to switch his police hat for a rancher’s one. The killer is not only brilliant but aware of Kevin’s ability matching him move for move. Michael McGarrity delivers yet another twister of crime suspense to his reader with amicable preciseness. His ability to bring it all together to the end is nothing but impressive.
Books in order of publication by series:
Kevin Kerney Books
|The Judas Judge||(2000)|
|Under the Color of Law||(2001)|
|The Big Gamble||(2002)|
|Nothing But Trouble||(2005)|
|Dead or Alive||(2008)|
American West Trilogy Books
|The Last Ranch||(2016)|