Ivan Brady’s latest contribution to his Aaron McCaan trilogy is a page-turner packed with action and suspense. Many murders and few love affairs keep the protagonist on his toes and as he somehow manages to survive the many dangers of the desert and the men roaming in it. As an extra, he regales the reader with beautiful and insightful descriptions of the region, its flora and fauna, the indigenous people who once cultivated the Colorado riverbanks before they were marginalized and criminalized by the white settler society.
The anthropology background of the author gives the series its special flavor. The indigenous protagonists and their magic are as credible as the white ex-Marine who solves all the problems. While the cartel boss and the politicians are only schemes in the background, the Mexican thugs of various kinds are more nuanced – one of them even has a lovely mamacita and children to complicate the black-and-white pattern.
The relativity of perception, experience, dreams, and other culturally learned realities, appears as a running theme through the series. In its third and last volume, No Kill Canyon, all the threads come to a closure. Does the hero ride off into the sunset with his bride? I will not spoil your fun.
Dr. Susanne Kuehling
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Regina, Canada