If anyone has earned a fresh start, it’s Pete Fernandez—he’s struggled back both from a near-death injury and alcoholism. But his plan to run a little bookstore in Miami is about to go seriously off the track.
Pete keeps telling himself everything is fine, that after his previous adventures (Blackout, 2018, etc.) he can even be cool about his partner’s engagement. He and Kathy, his best friend and business partner, had shared “a spark.” But while Pete hesitated, another man stepped in. However, when a Cuban gangster asks Pete to investigate the murder of his son and find his missing daughter-in-law, Pete realizes he still wants to work—and Kathy will work with him. What they can’t imagine is a plot involving lies, secrets, betrayals, and even a character named The Silent Death. As Pete and Kathy trace friends and suspects, they travel through Miami’s clubs, businesses, and neighborhoods; the author, a Miami native, is obviously familiar with and fond of the area. He depicts its cultural varieties with color and insight. One wishes the same could be said of Pete. Although we’re told many times how he feels, he rarely makes the leap into the kind of character we care enough about to follow.
There are several plot twists, but even the surprises don't elevate this outing beyond the pedestrian.