THE DEAD GO FAST
A Fernando Lopez Santa Fe Mystery
By James C. Wilson
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Santa Fe artist Jimmy Mackey wakes up in his studio on Canyon Road with a massive hangover. His morning gets worse when a police cruiser pulls into his parking lot next to a strange car and even worse when police find a dead woman in the trunk of the car. The dead woman turns out to be the estranged wife of the Santa Fe mayor. The ultra-sensitive case winds up in the hands of retiring police detective Fernando Lopez, the only detective with enough experience to conduct the politically fraught investigation. Lopez interviews Mackey and the artists who were drinking at Jimmy’s studio the night of the murder, all deeply suspicious with flimsy alibis. He also interviews the mayor in a tense scene at City Hall. When Mackey flees Santa Fe, Lopez chases him across northern New Mexico––from haunted Ghost Ranch to the counterculture city of Taos, where he finds Mackey hiding at the home of one of his ex-wives. Before Mackey can be arrested he is shot and killed by two assassins. Suddenly the Police Chief and the Mayor want Lopez to close the case, since the main suspect is now dead. When Lopez refuses, the two assassins come after him. Lopez senses a cover-up. The case takes a surprising turn at the end, which forces Lopez to rethink his idea of justice. Includes Readers Guide.
Emeritus Professor of English and Journalism at the University of Cincinnati, James C. Wilson lived in Santa Fe during the turbulent 1970s and wrote for the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Santa Fe Reporter. He has lived in Albuquerque since 2012. He is the author of eleven previous books, including Hiking New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon: The Trails, The Ruins, The History and Santa Fe, City of Refuge, An Improbable Memoir of the Counterculture in addition to Peyote Wolf, Smokescreen, and Ghost Canyon in the Fernando Lopez Santa Fe Mystery Series.
On the cover: Roadside cross at Santa Rosa de Lima, near Abiquiu, New Mexico.
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