Well depicted characters make this one a winner!
The mystery is not all that mysterious. No international criminal ring threatens. National Security and the fate of the free world do not depend on what happens in Posadas County, New Mexico and its tired and ready to retire Undersheriff Bill Gastner. That, of course, is the charm and strength of Out of Season.
Posadas County, New Mexico's small sheriff''s department suffers the loss of its well-intentioned but inexperienced Sheriff in a plane accident - except it looks like it was not an accident after all - the pilot was shot before he crashed. Undersheriff Gastner looks into the private investigation that the Sheriff was looking into and finds that his inexperienced boss may have had good instincts after all.
First, let me praise what Havill does best in this book - character development. Gastner is a tired old horse who is ready to go out to pasture but when duty calls the value of his years of experience (more than anything else) move Federal, state and local authorities towards finding out who has killed Sheriff Martin Holmann. He is a restraining hand on the young pups, a prod to the confused and a sounding board to the others.
This is my first Havill book. You do not have to start the series at the beginning and I give this one 5 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Out of Season: An Undersheriff Bill Gastner Mystery
Reviewed on May 23, 2006.