Missing drug money sends thugs on a rampage and small-town police on a dangerous manhunt.
In the sleepy seaside community of Angustias, an Eden increasingly attractive to the criminal element, upstanding farmer Pedro Ortiz brazenly tells two gunmen that he’s burned their supply of cocaine and refuses to disclose the location of their stash of cash. After some sadistic torture, the pair burn down Pedro’s house, fatally injuring his wife and young daughter in the process, and cut a wide swath through Angustias in search of the loot. Their nemesis Sheriff Luis Gonzalo, marking his 25th anniversary on the job, has to deal with a contentious relationship with new mayor Primavera and his smarmy sidekick, Belen, and the need to rebuild his department after a horrific shootout left him a couple of deputies short (Death in Precinct Puerto Rico: Book Two, 2003). Veterans Iris Calderon and Hector Paredo are proving their value as they drift into an awkward romance, but Gonzalo has doubts about the rookies. Federal police, headed by officious Detective Montalvo, try to shove Gonzalo and the locals off the investigation. The twisty and extended pursuit involves a handful of other colorful series regulars: salty retired deputy Emilio Collazo, tough lawyer Maria Garcia, and intrepid reporter Lucy Aponte.
The rich characters overshadow the shaggy plot. The result should please Torres’s fans, but newcomers to the series may find it confusing.