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. They've been 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 find the girl, to solve her case, and prove her mettle as a cop. Following a shootout in which she disastrously killed a young boy, Em's job is on the line. 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 must find a missing child and a ruthless killer and save the only job she's ever wanted to do.