Fackler, Elizabeth 1947- (Eli Fackler)
Fackler, Elizabeth 1947- (Eli Fackler)
Born May 23, 1947, in Lansing, MI; daughter of Edward John (an innkeeper) and Mabel Marion Fackler; married Michael Stoner Sinkovitz (a music librarian), March 2, 1985. Education: University of California, San Diego, B.S., 1977. Politics: Democrat.
"SETH STRUMMAR" WESTERN SERIES
Blood Kin, Evans (New York, NY), 1991.
Backtrail, Evans (New York, NY), 1993.
Road from Betrayal, Evans (New York, NY), 1994.
Badlands, Forge Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Breaking Even, Forge Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Bone Justice, Western Star Books (Capitan, NM), 2006.
"DEVON GRAY" MYSTERY SERIES
Patricide, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2000.
When Kindness Fails, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2003.
Endless River, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2005.
Lucinda's Summer Vacation, Five Star (Detroit, MI), 2007.
(Under name Eli Fackler) Seven Rivers (western novel), Dell (New York, NY), 1982.
Arson (mystery novel), Dodd (New York, NY), 1984.
Barbed Wire (mystery novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1986.
Billy the Kid: The Legend of El Chivato, Forge Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Texas Lily, Forge Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Elizabeth Fackler has gained a devoted readership for her mystery series featuring Devon Gray, a homicide detective in El Paso, Texas. Gray, described by Booklist reviewer Jenny McLarin as an "extremely appealing protagonist," makes his first appearance in Patricide, a dark story of murder and sexual predators of teenage girls. In investigating the murder of Theodore Truxal, Devon struggles with the information that his brother, a troubled ex-con, might have a connection to the crime.
Devon returns in When Kindness Fails. His assignment: to solve the stabbing murder of an unknown woman. The plot thickens when Devon learns that the victim was Lisa, the girlfriend of his lover Samantha's ex-husband. The investigation leads Devon to the Mexican border where he questions Lisa's ex-husband, Sergio, a man no one dares to cross. As Jenny McLarin pointed out in her review in Booklist, Devon is shocked and disgusted by Sergio's treatment of young girls but fails to realize that his own attitudes toward women are similarly chauvinistic. McLarin praised the book's "first-rate suspense" and noted that Devon makes the series "compelling."
A real-life crime serves as the inspiration for Endless River. The novel recounts what happens after Zeb Mulroney, an arrogant rich kid, decides to take revenge when a schoolmate, Amy, snubs him. He arranges to have Amy's boyfriend Nathan abducted and taken into the desert to be tortured. When things go wrong, Zeb's mother and grandfather help him cover up his actions. Devon Gray, however, who happens to be renting a room from Amy's mother, senses that Nathan is in danger and joins the effort to find him. Praising Fackler's "masterful job of character development," Booklist contributor Jenny McLarin deemed the novel highly suspenseful and engaging.
Lucinda's Summer Vacation, described by a Kirkus Reviews contributor as a "dark tale of murder and depravity," finds Devon on the run after being pegged as the chief suspect in the murder of a crooked cop in El Paso. He flees to a small town in New Mexico, where he is joined by his lover, Lucinda, and her daughter, Amy. But it is hardly a safe hideout: he soon discovers his widowed neighbor, Natalie Wieland, with her throat cut, and then must rush to save Lucinda from bleeding to death when she accidentally slashes her own neck on broken glass. Devon must fight local authorities, who suspect him as well as Lucinda and her daughter; Amy, meanwhile, encounters a teen stalker who leads them to information implicating Natalie and the police chief in several crimes, including sexual deviance and murder. Barbara Bibel, writing in Booklist, described the novel as a "story with complex characters that will appeal to fans of psychological drama."
Fackler has also written several novels featuring protagonist Seth Strummar, a gunfighter on the western frontier. Her inspiration, Fackler explained on her Home Page, was to "supply some balance in western literature and portray a gunfighter as he truly would have been in his personal interactions, especially with women, and I intended from the start to grow a morally corrupt man into a socially responsible citizen of his community."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 2000, Jenny McLarin, review of Patricide, p. 1088; September 15, 2003, Jenny McLarin, review of When Kindness Fails, p. 214; March 1, 2005, Jenny McLarin, review of Endless River, p. 1144; July 1, 2007, Barbara Bibel, review of Lucinda's Summer Vacation, p. 35.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2005, review of Endless River, p. 85; June 15, 2007, review of Lucinda's Summer Vacation.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (March 4, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of Endless River.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (March 4, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of When Kindness Fails.
Elizabeth Fackler Home Page,http://elizabethfackler.com (March 4, 2008).