Reviews for Privileged to kill Posadas county mysteries series, book 5. [electronic resource] :

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

More trouble has winged into New Mexico's Posadas County, this time on the heels of rolling stone Wesley Crocker, whom Undersheriff Bill Gastner gives a lift into town when he meets him on the road wheeling his crippled bicycle. But a flat tire is the least of Crocker's problems. After bedding down for the night under the stars on the school athletic field, he's in the lockup by morning for questioning about the death of shoplifting teenager Maria Elena Ibarra, whose body was dumped less than a hundred yards from his bedroll--all, he mildly insists, without disturbing him. And even though the autopsy reveals that Maria had accidentally choked to death on a slice of pizza, Crocker's troubles--and Bill's--are far from over. Maria's shiftless uncle knocks back a snootful of sherry fortified with enough extra alcohol to send him to sleep for good; a grisly road accident will leave another student dead; and Crocker will be turned loose in time to get into more trouble himself. What's behind this rash of untimely deaths, and what does it all have to do with the harmless drifter? Underneath the low-key, high-casualty plot, Havill's fifth (Before She Dies, p. 176, etc.) quietly continues a project virtually unique in detective fiction: anchoring his tales of crime and punishment as closely as possible in the rhythms of small-town friends, routines, and calamities.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Wesley Crocker seems a harmless enough free spirit when Posadas County Under-sheriff Bill Gastner meets him for the first time and spots him a free dinner. But Gastner's judgment is questioned when the body of 13-year-old Maria Ibarra is found under the high-school football bleachers a few feet from Crocker's overnight campsite. Crocker's account of the evening is riddled with enough inconsistencies to make Gastner suspicious, but a background check of the victim's life raises other troubling issues, such as possible child abuse or exploitation by her classmates. The fifth Gastner mystery is a crystalline gem of dusty Arizona atmosphere, small-town personalities, and razor-sharp plotting. It also raises questions regarding the law--especially small-town law--and its attitudes toward the indigent, the homeless, and the privileged. Toss in Gastner, one of the most endearing mentors in crime fiction, for a mystery that is disarmingly simple on the surface but ultimately reveals surprising depth. --Wes Lukowsky


Publishers Weekly
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Bill Gastner can't sleep, eats way too much Mexican food and seems headed for a stroke. But in his fifth adventure (after Before She Dies), the aging undersheriff of Posadas County, N.M., labors 'round the clock to solve the mysterious death of a 15-year-old girl. Maria Ibarra's body was found under the high-school football field bleachers. The first suspect is Wesley Crocker, an itinerant bicyclist whom Gastner, out of kindness, had treated to a meal the previous night. Gastner feels certain that Crocker is innocent, a notion confirmed when an unknown motorist tries to run down the cyclist. Vanessa Davila, a friend of Maria's, flees when police question her. Then a bright, popular student is killed in a suspicious car accident. Like Gastner, readers may feel stymied until the last evidence turns up, but there is a cleverly planted clue in the early pages. A strong sense of place and tough but compassionate characters distinguish this series. Gastner and his valued friend, deputy Estelle Reyes-Guzman, pull the case together, while Estelle and her doctor husband urge the undersheriff to start caring for himself. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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