Horse Hunts by Gary George

four stars

Lieutenant Carlos Caballo, known to everyone as Horse, is in search of an important piece of evidence. However, there isn’t time for that when he receives a call about an inspector being shot by a suspicious man. Leaving his search for evidence behind, Horse must track the suspect and catch him before he hurts someone else. Harvey Vickers is just plain bad. Even though he grew up pretty well off with parents that loved and adored him, he was still rotten to the core. One day, after a lot of drinking, he started fighting with his wife. In a fit of rage he killed her, and decided to bury her in the desert on his way to Vegas. But his half-formed plan was ruined when he was stopped by the agricultural inspector and asked to open his trunk. After shooting the man, his car broke down so he headed out into the desert. Now it’s only a matter of time before they catch him- but he isn’t done yet.

Horse Hunts is a novella in the Smoke Tree Mysteries series, and it is a great chance to learn more about Carlos “Horse” Caballo. Gary J. George gives us another peek into this amazing world he has created, and keeps us entertained throughout the entire narrative. The story follows Horse as he tracks down a murder suspect who he knows is armed and dangerous. However, since he knows the desert well, he has an advantage over Vickers. The story flows naturally and is very easy to read, and the descriptions George uses helps paint the picture in your mind. He describes everything perfectly-from the beauty of the desert to the depravity of Harvey Vickers and everything in between- but he doesn’t overwhelm you with the details. They don’t distract you from the main story nor do they slow it down. They just fall in place easily. George takes us inside the minds of the two main characters and we get to know who they truly are. You get to see how messed up Vickers really is; how his brain works. You see how he justifies his actions and sees himself as the victim. You also get to learn more about Horse in this book- about his history and his family life, including when he first met his wife and his time fighting in the Korean War.

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