A Kate's Mystery Books Selection
Marcos M. Villatoro
Mystery Books/Justin, Charles & Co.
Mystery, 320 pp., 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
$24.95 cl., ISBN: 1-932112-13-8
Sometimes the plans are simple. This time
Bobby needs few supplies: rope, a pit, duct tape, and a dog.
A sense of place. Technique. Actors. This
is how he sets it up, in his mind, before anything takes place.
He sees it clearly before anything has been done. He must
begin with the character, for the character is the reason.
There are many characters here. Plenty to
choose from. This is a relief; at times he has wondered if
the right people will appear along the way. They always do.
For everywhere there are people, leaving a trail of sins.
Life has not handed anything to Romilia Chacón. A detective
with the Nashville Homicide Unit and Salvadoran by blood,
she's a bilingual cop who is a magnet for murder. It's in
her family: her mother fled the death squads of their native
El Salvador, and her sexy older sister Catalina was murdered
when Romilia was in college. Now, six years later, the killer
is back as the self-styled Minos, the mythical demon of Dante's
Inferno who decides into which circle of hell the soul of
the damned must fall. Adulterers in the third circle. Traitors
in the ninth. And a whole slew of souls in between.
The FBI has nicknamed him the Whisperer, due
to the cryptic messages he leaves near his victims’
bodies. He has a purpose, but no one can make sense of his
need to kill in such artistic fashion, leaving a wake of bodies
from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
As she follows the trail of the Whisperer,
Romilia does not notice how the path spirals more tightly
around her. The more she learns, the more obsessed she becomes.
But Minos is not her only problem. Romilia must also deal
with the handsome and elusive drug lord Tekun Uman, and with
the obsessed DEA agents trailing him, and her, from the shadows.
Completely focused on tracking Minos —
on temporary assignment to the FBI, and against the wishes
of her boss in Homicide — Romilia doesn’t see
how her need for revenge has taken control.
Gritty, driven, determined to succeed as a Latina
in a white man’s world, pretty Romilia Chacon is every
bit as captivating as that other FBI heroine, Clarice Starling.
And every bit as vulnerable.
Minos seems to have acquired a taste for the