In this sequel, wedded bliss for an engaged couple on San Cristobal may be wrecked by a revolutionary group with aspirations of taking over the island.
Former New York executive-turned-philanthropist Robbie Beaufort has a new life in the Caribbean with his fiancee, Julianna Miranda. But lately the couple have been distant with each another. Julianna’s legally married to Pedro, comatose, and on a gastrostomy tube from an injury rendered during a hurricane. Robbie doesn’t want a wedding with Pedro still in the picture but he has qualms about taking him off the feeding tube, unsure whether the man would suffer. This postpones both the marriage and the big house Robbie promised, sparking rancor from Julianna and her young daughter, Alba, who hates admitting to her private academy friends that she lives in the slum. Things take a turn for the better when Julianna believes she’s pregnant with the couple’s first child. But trouble is also close by, evidenced by recurring black flags. Robbie doesn’t initially put much credence in rumors that the flags belong to the Sandinas, South American revolutionaries. Unfortunately, the group sees Robbie as a threat, with his charity work appeasing slum residents and reducing the number of recruits in a potential revolt. Carroll (Slum, 2016, etc.) aptly establishes the slum: it’s imperfect but populated by good people, while the Black Hell is the undeveloped and precarious section to avoid. Much of the plot (perhaps too much) focuses on Robbie obsessed with Pedro’s predicament, even flying in an expert to verify the patient won’t feel anything if doctors pull the feeding tube. The Sandinas, however, are a slowly building menace: short, intermittent perspectives from the group preface a more aggressive strike that leaves death and destruction in its wake. There are few signs of tangible romance between often bickering Robbie and Julianna. But it’s a struggle both realistic and endearing, as they’re fighting to keep everyone in their family together and safe.
A laudable depiction of life within civil unrest and a proficient setup for the trilogy’s conclusion.