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Gifted fifteen-year-old Francisco Guzman has become an internationally renowned concert pianist, touring the world under the auspices of his music conservatory. That gives his mother, Posadas County Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman, plenty of reason to worry—and that's magnified when she learns that he's in Mexico's crime-ridden Mazatlan for a concert series where he may be the target for scam artists and kidnappers.
Estelle's worries go from bad to worse when her uncle-a man she didn't know existed-surfaces in an attempt to mend family ties and leaves a trail of corpses in his wake. Estelle's attempts to glean family history-the story of her childhood in Tres Santos over the border-from her adopted mother, a woman now in her nineties, go nowhere. Meanwhile, escalating events put Sheriff Bobby Torrez in jeopardy, as they do newly wealthy rancher Miles Waddell and his pet project, the multi-million dollar theme park, NightZone, set high on a county mesa.
Just when his sage advice might be most useful, former sheriff and family friend Bill Gastner takes a dive-in the shadows of his own garage. Now his far-flung family is added to the mix of people and events astir in the boot heel of New Mexico.