A drug runner in Belize has big dreams, but bigger troubles with local criminal kingpins.
After too many lagers one Friday afternoon, petty criminal Riley James and his pal Harvey have a bad accident, hitting and killing Miss Solomon. Visions of prison dance through their heads until they realize that Miss Solomon is a dog. But their relief is as short-lived as their panic when they learn that Miss Solomon was the prized pet of Eva Burrows, the minister of finance and development. Riley has to agree to a brazen bit of extortion to square away this incident and stop Minister Burrows' crying jag, though he manages to table his troubles long enough to propose to his longtime girlfriend Candice. Burrows may be the least of Riley's worries. He lands in hot water with his criminal bosses, the brothers Israel and Carlo Monsanto, when he mouths off to a notorious Belize City policeman whose freckles, red hair and light complexion have made him known as Red Boy. All of this hassle keeps Riley from his main objective: marrying Candice and leaving Belize with her to make their fortune. As he gets in deeper and deeper, his playful scenes with Candice provide a breezy counterpoint to his more dangerous scrapes. Adding an extra level of irony and narrative panache to Riley's tangled saga is that yarn-spinning Patricia recounts it as a legend to hospital patient Roger Hunter.
Written with authority and dry humor, Vasquez's third (Lonesome Point, 2009, etc.) is another gritty thrill ride set in his native Belize.