Introducing the High Desert Mystery Series, Featuring Emerson Thayer


Mean Desert

Detective Emerson Thayer is just two days back in the field when she discovers the bodies of an unidentified Hispanic couple, shot in the head and hidden beneath the rotting remains of a coyote killing contest. Then she finds a young girl—their daughter?—left for dead in the desert. Racing over the sand, the girl in her arms, Em promises the child she'll be safe.


Two days later, Janie Doe is kidnapped from the hospital.

Em is desperate to save the girl, to solve the murders and keep her job—at risk following a shootout in which she disastrously killed a young boy. She’s been cleared of wrongdoing by her law enforcement peers, but the court of public opinion—and her own conscience—are not so forgiving.


Signs point to local Border Patrol involvement in the crimes—including Agent Rick Melendres, Em’s sometimes lover. The case takes an even more personal turn when an IED—hidden in a dead coyote—explodes outside her home. With the violence escalating and her life on the line, Em races to find a missing child, a ruthless killer and the truth of the Borderland murders.

© 2020 R.A.Cullen