NightZone: A Posadas County Mystery #19

By Steven F Havill

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ISBN 9781464200700
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What do you do when you inherit $330 million after taxes? If you’re New Mexico rancher Miles Waddell, you build a dream.
A flat-topped mesa and a third of a billion dollars equals NIGHTZONE, an astronomy-based theme park, complete with giant radio telescope, a bank of smaller scopes linked to a theater, five-star dining in a restaurant with retracting dome ceiling, a hotel/resort, tram car access, and a narrow gauge steam locomotive to carry tourists to the mesa top. Glorious. And too ambitious for many residents of Posadas County.
Waddell’s dream begins to sour as one night two eco-terrorists make an opening statement by chain-sawing down power lines that feed the development. One of the terrorists is killed by a bucking power pole. From 20 miles away, former Posadas Sheriff William K. Gastner spots a pair of headlights as the dead man’s companion speeds from the scene.
Charges quickly include murder when the fleeing conspirator is stopped by a cop and guns the lawman down. Hours later a second shooting occurs when Gastner stops to assist Sgt. Jackie Taber during an unrelated traffic stop. Always the last to pull a trigger, the now 74-year old Gastner becomes the focus of a second investigation by the over-stressed District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department. Meanwhile, Waddell’s troubles with rumor-mongers and anti-government thugs continue. A tired Gastner is unwilling to work security for NIGHTZONE, but security has become essential.
There is a bright spot: Gastner’s godson, 13 year-old Francisco Guzman. The musical prodigy’s conservatory has scheduled a double concert in Posadas, part of a national tour. Yet the timing of this stellar event could not be worse with the retired Gastner and the whole community tangling with lethal avengers and agendas.
NightZone is the 19th entry in the sweeping Las Posadas series delighting fans of Tony Hillerman, Dana Stabenow, and Archer Mayor.


"As Havill’s stellar 19th Posadas County mystery (after 2012’s One Perfect Shot) shows, retired sheriff Bill Gastner can’t resist getting involved in law enforcement business. One quiet night, while Gastner, an insomniac, is stargazing on a mesa, he spots a distant fire, a pair of headlights driving away from the area, and an apparent power outage. After calling in the authorities, Gastner heads to the scene, where he finds a corpse and some wooden power-line supports chopped down. The subsequent murder of a cop, who may have been trying to stop a man responsible for the damage, could be connected with plans for the construction of a new theme park centered on a huge radio telescope that’s being shipped to New Mexico from California. Some extremists view the project as a cover for intrusive government surveillance. Gastner’s capabilities are plausible for a septuagenarian, and Havill peoples the book with believable characters."--Publishers Weekly starred review

"The nineteenth Posadas County mystery places the focus back on the retired Gastner after a few episodes in which the mysteries revolved around his successor. No matter the protagonist, Havill’s work is believable and well plotted, and never, ever includes a character who isn’t a viable human being. Another fine book in a terrific series."--Booklist

7 Responses to NightZone: A Posadas County Mystery #19

  1. I’m currently reading Nightzone, which is (as of now) the last book in the Bill Gastner/Posadas County series. It’s taken me 5 months to work my way through the series, and I am going to miss all the characters, but especially the compelling style of writing that carries the reader through some very intriguing mysteries. I hope this is not the end of the saga.

  2. I love to catch up with your characters. I’ve been catching up with all your books over the last couple of years. I just love to find an author I like who has a long backlist! Always something to read that way.

  3. I too am wondering when will this be an audiobook & who will be the narrator. It’s going to be tough replacing Rusty Nelson-

  4. I have read all of this series and eagerly await the publication of the next installment. I recently discovered this series on ibooks and have enjoyed each one.

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