After 15 years of routine police work and relative ease, veteran sheriff Luis Gonzalo gets hit from all sides, and all at once. Now that it’s 1987, Puerto Rico’s urban criminals have finally discovered Angustias, his sleepy little seaside town. The crime wave comes closest to home when Gonzalo’s elderly father-in-law faces off against three young Dominican druggies who break into his house. Though he lands a few good whacks with his machete, the feisty 90-year-old ends up in the hospital. Ramirez, the town’s slick, ambitious mayor, grants a request for three additional deputies, doubling the Angustias police force. Veteran deputy Emilio Collazo teams with stoic Nuyorican trainee Rosa Almodovar. Newcomer Iris Calderon, a beautiful computer whiz, is combustibly paired with loose cannon Hector Paredo. Gonzalo himself takes Abel Fernandez, a streetwise transfer from San Juan, under his wing. As it turns out, Gonzalo’s eclectic new force, which provides increased opportunities and fresh challenges, comes not a moment too soon. When a boatload of dead Santo Domingans headed for illegal entry to the US washes up on the town’s beachfront, some of the bodies bear signs of violence. The investigative trail leads to corrupt, ruthless cops and hard choices for Gonzalo—choices of the sort he never expected to face in sleepy little Angustias.
A top-notch police procedural whose engrossing details create an authentic feel. Terse, deadpan prose, believable characters, and an offbeat setting add up to a promising series kickoff.