NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR by Michael Gruber


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A tiny but powerful South American shaman kicks quite a bit of Miami ass in an effort to protect the rainforest back home.

Readers who have been seduced by Gruber and his signature blend of tropical heat, sex, philosophy, magic and wit (Tropic of Night, 2003; Valley of Bones, 2004) will find all the ingredients that make his books so addictive, but this time, the intensity has been cut measurably, so the fix is not quite as powerful. Iago “Jimmy” Paz is back—the brilliant Afro Cuban autodidact is no longer a policeman, though. He’s a cook in his mother’s popular restaurant, happily married to zaftig psychologist Lola Wise, now a med student, and the father of a gorgeous seven-year-old daughter. Jimmy’s domestic bliss is disturbed by gruesome crimes that will prove in time to have a family connection. Moie, a spunky, indigenous, Colombian medicine man, tipped off to international skulduggery aiming to wipe out the local mahogany forest, has paddled his canoe a thousand miles, hopped a freighter and landed in Miami, where he routinely transforms into a 300-plus-pound jaguar in order to devour the evil businessmen. Also on the scene are a mismatched gang of environmental activists, whose number include a beautiful redhead with a sad past and the potential to pull off some magic of her own. When the local cops have to admit that they have no idea who is eating the livers of well known businessmen, they ask Jimmy to do the civic thing and give them a little help. But Jimmy’s got his own problems. Everyone in his little family has been having deeply symbolic and very frightening dreams about a jaguar hungry for little girls. Jimmy’s solution involves a reluctant immersion in Santería, his mother’s Afro-Caribbean religion.

Gruber’s asking for bigger gulps of disbelief than his fans may be willing to swallow here.

Pub Date: April 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-057768-1
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2006


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