Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: "One Perfect Shot: The Posadas County Mysteries" by Steven F. Havill

Prequels seem to be coming from numerous successful authors these days.  It is a tricky thing to do and, as Lee Child and Nevada Barr have recently showed, can have decidedly mixed results. That is not true in this case as One Perfect Shot:  The Posadas County Mysteries works on all levels. The book is not only true to the series as a whole; the book is a very good one.

It is 1989 and Undersheriff Bill Gastner’s latest case is a strange one.  There is one road grader in all of Posadas county and Larry Zipoli had been using is on an unpaved road on the north side of the small village of Posadas. That was until somebody fired off the shot that punched through the windshield and slammed into Larry Zipoli’s forehead plowing deep into his brain. Mr. Zipoli never saw it coming and investigators have no idea when it happened or why.

It is going to be a hard one to solve and a strain on the department’s already limited resources and staff.  But, unbeknownst to Undersheriff Gastner as he stands in the hot sun surveying the crime scene, Sheriff Eduardo Salcido has hired a new officer contingent on her passing all the usual tests, classes, etc.  He seems to have a lot of faith in the person that would be the first female patrol deputy in the history of Posadas county. Her name is Estelle Reyes and from the start it is clear that Gastner and Reyes are destined for many things.

After writing 17 books in this incredibly good series that started years ago with Heart Shot New Mexico author Steven F. Havill takes readers back to before the beginning with his latest book. Once again the small New Mexico county of Posadas and its citizens, more like family you don’t see often enough, than fictional characters pull readers into a complex tale of deceit, recklessness and murder. The traits that many of the characters have in greater detail in later books are offered here in small ways in a case that crosses the US border into Mexico as well as over into Arizona and back again. One Perfect Shot:  The Posadas County Mysteries is another solidly good read and serves as an excellent introduction to a great series.

One Perfect Shot: The Posadas County Mysteries
Steven F. Havill
Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN# 978-1-59058-954-0
Hardback (also available as an e-book)
332 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012


Peg said...

Thanks Kevin - I haven't tried this series. Upon your worthy recommend, I shall!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Hope you like them, Peg.

Bill Crider does something similar here in Texas with his series though I would say that overall Havill's series is slightly darker in tone.

Aubrey Hamilton said...

I love the Posadas County series. They rank among my all-time favorites from 40 years of reading mysteries.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Not quite as many years in but they rank very high for me as well.

Bonnie said...

I love this series; what I especially like is that Havill keeps track of his characters, so you feel like a Posadas resident yourself. Also refreshing that most of the time the bad guys aren't evil monsters; they take a little misstep and then find themselves sliding down that slippery slope!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Very true, Bonnie. Some little thing happens and stuff starts sliding away from somebody.....