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Territory, The: A Novel
By Tricia Fields. Minotaur Books. 278 pp. $24.99.
Josie Gray, police chief of the small Texas town of Artemis, has just two other officers and a small office staff. Partly because she’s female she gets little respect from anyone. Just across the Rio Grande the equally small Mexican town of Piedra Labrada is a hotbed focus for drug wars and as the hostility and killings mount she finds herself very much alone in the battle, without support even from those citizens who should be on her side. This smoothly-written first novel won the 2011 Tony Hillerman prize. []
This novel captures the realities of current border issues, the challenges of weather and politics in West Texas, the difficulties of being a woman in a man’s world and the loneliness of individuals who deal with these issues, all set against the backdrop of a mysterious killing. This top-notch read won the Tony Hillerman Prize for Mystery in 2011. []

To Hell or the Pecos
By Patrick Dearen. Texas Christian University press. 197 pp. $22.95.

Crime and revenge drive desperate people deeper into the Pecos country as novelist Patrick Dearen spins a Western about the landscape he knows so well and the people he met in real history. The action comes fast and furious.
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