Sheriff Robert Torrez likes his privacy and is meticulous about what he does. That includes his off duty hours. Some are spent hunting. With permission of the landowner, Miles Waddell, (builder of Nightzone) the good sheriff has been using a portion of his off time to track a herd of antelope. In this case there is not the thrill of the hunt as it is more a scientific operation for him. A chance to cull the herd and manage wild game that also serves as a means to an end for stocking his freezer.

Unfortunately he was also being stocked on this August morning and he had no idea. That was until his rifle scope shattered seconds after he had fired bringing down the chosen antelope. Torrez was wounded in the attack, but not downed like the spasmodically twitching buck. He managed to pursue the possible shooter only to see a pick up drive away with no idea if the driver is the one who took a shot at him.

At about the same time, Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman learns that somebody has been contacting her elderly adopted mother, Teresa Reyes, and requesting money while claiming to be family. Not an uncommon scam that is played upon the elderly and one the President of Posadas State Bank is well aware of. A cashier’s check in the amount of eight thousand dollars is an unusual request by almost any one in Posadas County, New Mexico, and certainly very unusual by Teresa Reyes. Estelle digs into the situation and soon discovers a very real threat coming from her home village of Tres Santos, Mexico. Her and her family is in danger, especially her son Francisco and his friend Mateo who are currently in Mazatlán, Mexico along with other members of the music conservatory.

With former Sherriff Gastner seriously injured and forced to be a very minor player as events and cases on both side of the border heat up, the repercussions for all involved as well as many others could be deadly. It isn’t the first time blood has been spilled into the desert sands of both sides of the border and it won’t be the last.

The latest in The Posada County Mystery Series” written by Steven F. Havill, Blood Sweep is another excellent read. A read that finally answers many of the questions regarding Undersheriff Estelle Reyes- Guzman’s past while blending in multiple mysteries in the here and now. A fast and highly entertaining read from Poison Pen Press one could begin here in the 20th book in the series though it would be far better to read them in order starting with Heartshot.

Along with the author’s love of the New Mexico landscape, these books feature characters that have become family. Family that can annoy as well as entertain as the pages fly by. An ongoing storyline has been Estelle’s love of family and coping with the demands of her job as well as her very talented sons. That is at play here as well as the fears of many of us have who have aging parents who insist on going it alone as they seek to maintain their independence. These books feature characters that have evolved and grown over time as, just like in the real world, they experience joys and sorrows that forever change them. Those characters that are in police work are not dumb and willing to work with outside agencies as the need arises unlike the way things are depicted in many other series.

Blood Sweep as well as the series as a whole is highly recommended.

Blood Sweep: The Posadas County Mysteries
Steven F. Havill
Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN# 978-1-4642-0387-9
Hardback (also available in e-book and paperback)
307 Pages

Many, many thanks to reviewer and friend Lesa Holstine who provided me a review copy to read, review, and enjoy. Unlike many of the books I receive that wind up at Texas Oncology at Medical City Dallas Hospital (our second home these days) this one will now journey to my Mom’s home as she is also a fan of the series.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

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