Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
Truth is, I'd read most of them before I realized they were now available as audiobooks. Didn't stop me at all -- listening would just allow me to enjoy the stories again, in a different format. The characters didn't sound quite like I'd expected them to -- I didn't expect that Sheriff Salcido would sound quite as ethnic as he does. But after a couple of hours, it was fine. That WAS the way the Sheriff talked!
The fun thing about them is that they start so slow... just an average working day, some little thing takes place, but you never have any clue that it's going to get as complicated - and interesting -- as it does. It's just a delight to watch the story unfold, something else happens, which makes something else happen. Before you know it, you've got as much white-knuckle activity as any book in the world -- but its all real people, the kind of people you know and interact with every day. In terms of building believable characters, no one beats Steven Havill.
One Perfect Shot is a good book to start with, because you get to meet Estelle Reyes, who comes to star in the series a few books down the line. She has to be one of the most interesting of police procedural characters in any contemporary fiction. She's intense, powerful, but in her own way. There's no bravado for her -- just sheer intelligence and quiet determination. You'd think that a lot would be made out of the fact that Reyes is a female cop in a very traditional male-dominated culture in rural New Mexico, but there isn't. Which is as it should be -- for all of her attractiveness and quiet grace, it would never occur to Reyes that she should have any advantage -- or any disadvantage, either -- because she's a woman. She just does what she does, and does it very well. An admirable character.
Oh -- and one other thing: you'll soon learn to develop a taste for smothered green chili burritos. I actually have never had one -- not available in Israel, where I live. I'd never heard of such a thing until I started reading these books. But I looked it up, saw pictures, read about them, and now, every time Bill Gastner sits down to eat one -- breakfast or any other time -- I start to drool. That must be a really fine thing to eat! Some day....
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