A young Cuban cop seeks revenge in a cold climate.
When bright, ambitious, hot-headed Mercado learns of her father’s death in far-off Colorado, she reacts by sneaking out of Cuba, bound for Yankee-land. People who do that without Fidel’s blessing risk unpleasant consequences, but the newly minted detective doesn’t hesitate. Her father’s end had been brutal. Hit by a car on an icy mountain road, he was left broken and bleeding by a driver who fled the scene, and whose identity Mercado feels has not been sufficiently investigated. It’s true she hasn’t seen or heard from her father since he defected from Cuba 14 years ago, but she has too much iron in her make-up to be deterred by their long separation. To her, “revenge isn’t just a right, it’s a sacred obligation.” Once she’s arrived in the resort town of Fairview, posing as a domestic, she launches her own investigation among a cornucopia of suspects, including a bully of a sheriff and a clutch of B-list movie actors, complete with entourages, placed on her father’s enemies list for reasons hard to fathom. But that’s the thing about her enigmatic father, Mercado soon discovers. Everything about him is as mysterious as the question of what he was doing in Fairview. Why was a one-time intellectual serving as the town’s rat-catcher?
Despite some plotting deficiencies, the talented McKinty (The Bloomsday Dead, 2007, etc.) does his usual first-rate job of making you like the characters he likes.