By CB McKenzie
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9781250053541, 304pp.)
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
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The newest winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize, a debut mystery set in the Southwest starring a former rodeo cowboy turned private investigator, told in a transfixingly original style.
Rodeo Grace Garnet lives alone, save for his old dog, in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as the Hole. He doesn't get many visitors, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many illegal immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border just south of the Hole, but is instead a member of one of the local Indian tribes.
Retired from the rodeo circuit and scraping by on piece-work as a private investigator, Rodeo doesn't have much choice but to say yes when offered an unusual case. An elderly Indian woman has hired him to help discover who murdered her grandson, but she seems strangely uninterested in the results. Her indifference seems heartless, but as Rodeo pursues his case he learns that it's nothing compared to true hatred. And he's about to realize just how far hate can go.
CB McKenzie's Bad Country captures the rough-and-tumble corners of the Southwest in accomplished, confident prose, with a hardnosed plot that will keep readers riveted.
A native Texan, CB MCKENZIE has through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, modeled for Giorgio Armani, worked on an organic farm, and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Bad Country is his first novel.
Advance Praise for Bad Country
"CB McKenzie’s Bad Country is a hard-boiled noir crime thriller set in Arizona Indian country. Tony Hillerman would have loved it. So did I." —MICHAEL McGARRITY, author of Back Lands
"Bad Country by CB McKenzie is like that perfect arrowhead you stumble onto out on the trail, and then notice that it has bloodstains on it—a charged and unique southwest story that rings with an authenticity rarely seen in crime fiction." —CRAIG JOHNSON, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries, the basis for A&E’s hit drama Longmire
"Bad Country is a compelling debut, full of stark imagery and soaring prose. This novel's beautiful conclusion is going to stay with me for a long, long time." —MATTHEW GUINN author of The Resurrectionist
"CB McKenzie's prose is much like his landscape, sparse and poignant, and the pages of Bad Country race by like a dust cloud across the plain. The pleasure of Bad Country comes in chasing that cloud to see where it's going to end up, and there's no way of knowing until you get there." —MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH, author of Rivers and The Hands of Strangers
"CB McKenzie’s gripping debut Bad Country is a rare gem of a novel: a literary page-turner with a thrilling plot, compelling characters and a palpable sense of place. In spare prose reminiscent, but not derivative, of Cormac McCarthy's, McKenzie weaves a mystery that takes hold of the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go until the last stunning line." —AMY GREENE, author of Long Man and Bloodroot