An enjoyable, action-packed crime tale with strong language.



A wisecracking sleuth explores dangerous happenings in Miami in this second installment of a mystery series.

Jose Castillo, a luxury car repairman, moonlights as a private investigator. Usually, his cases involve minor infractions such as personal injury incidents or infidelity. He goes on stakeouts in his van equipped with the latest spy technology courtesy of his computer wiz pal, Jim Gafford. Jose is hired by Lesson, a strip club security guard who fears for his safety. After Lesson overhears strange rumblings from his Russian boss, Volkov, his house is mysteriously firebombed. Turns out, Volkov has been on the police radar for years and Jose steps in to uncover what is going on. When Jose learns that Volkov is part of the Russian mafia, he enlists the help of old military friends Chris and Chini. Jose uses out-of-the-box, risky measures in his work (for example, kidnapping and drugging a potential informant). Soon, Jose is targeted by Volkov’s gang and must wrangle himself—and his loved ones, including his fiancee, Kat—out of trouble. Meanwhile, Miami police are on the hunt for a killer targeting sex workers. After investigative reporter Lola Sanchez is murdered by the culprit while working undercover, Jose joins his best friend, Homicide Detective Nate Devine, in the search for the serial killer. Goyanes (Miami Beat, 2012) often includes captivating descriptions, many focusing on Jose’s car restorations, local Cuban food and eateries, and factoids about the city. A scene in the Miami Tunnel prompts: “The Miami Tunnel was first proposed in 1983 to alleviate the traffic....Between the burgeoning cruise ship traffic and the steady flow of the cargo container industry, it became evident that something had to be done.” But the dialogue can be explicit, which may disturb some readers. For example, characters toss out slurs (one scene features homophobic language in an interaction with a cross-dressing sex worker). Although Jose and friends’ sarcastic banter often pokes fun at different cultures and ethnicities, the private eye explains: “All of us come from different descendants...we rag on each other like brothers because circumstances have put us together...we have had each other’s back at some point.” While the murders are detailed and graphic, the plot is engaging and Jose is a stand-up, strong protagonist. His intriguing back story contributes to his detective skills quite well.

An enjoyable, action-packed crime tale with strong language.

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63338-340-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Fulton Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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