The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.
Lies Come Easy by Steven Havill brings back Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman. This is the 23rdbook in the Posadas County, New Mexico mystery series.
“I wrote Estelle as a savvy investigator. She started out in the Sheriff’s Department at the age of twenty-one. I think of her as tough, protective, and self-contained. She is a hands-on officer who is very brave. But she is a very private person who loves her family and has a good relationship with her husband. I think people should read all the books if they really want to get to know her.”
The story starts out with a gripping scene of a toddler wandering down the highway on his Scamper. This type of scooter did not protect him from exposure from the blizzardly elements. His father had kicked him out of his truck because he did not like the way the two-and-a-half year-old was behaving. Found dead the sheriff’s office has its hands full as it tries to determine if the father’s death was a suicide or murder. Unfortunately, joy is not brought to the world this Noel because others also turn up dead, with possible murders piling up: a missing Forest Service tech, and his girlfriend’s body. All these unrelated events come together at the plot’s end.
Havill noted, “Firearms have been a part of my life since I was four years old. I used to write westerns years ago. After writing four of them the market collapsed. In 2006, I enrolled in the famous gunsmithing school at Trinidad Sate in Colorado when I was in my sixties and enjoyed it immensely. Guns are fun to shoot, repair, and admire as works of art. When a jerk uses a firearm for nefarious purposes they must be dealt with, not the gun itself. I guess you can say I am an ‘unpracticing’ gunsmith.”
This story combines a police procedural, a Christmas setting, and a murder investigation. A dysfunctional family and community problems, lies, and murder all play a huge role in finding out what really happened.