THE MANGO OPERA by Tom Corcoran


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Even though he’s AIDS-free, sex with Key West photographer Alex Rutledge can be hazardous to your health. One of his former lovers has barely escaped a carjacking attempt, and two others are dead. Annie Minette, who broke off a three-year relationship with Alex less than a month ago, is back on his doorstep because her roommate, Public Defender Ellen Albury, has also been murdered, to all appearances by the same man. The local cops are too polite to identify that man as Alex--after all, they know him from the crime-scene photos he’s often snapped for them--but he thinks it might be a good idea to run down the killer anyway, before he gets run down himself (a distinct possibility), or before Annie, who may well have been the intended victim instead of look-alike Ellen, ends up in the morgue. Alex can’t help worrying that the killings are tied to a trip he made 20 years ago to photograph a Marielito rescue, and of course he’s right. But with so many ladies dead or under attack, there’s plenty of suspicion to go around among charter skipper Sam Wheeler, senior investigator Avery Hatch, and former political prisoner Raoul Balbuena, whose credentials as local hero and father of one of the victims don’t keep him from looking even guiltier than Alex. So many suspects turn out to be guilty, in fact, that you may wonder why the feds don’t just cut the island loose and set it adrift. But then you’d lose the evocative locations that are this first novel’s biggest plus.

Pub Date: June 18th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18628-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1998


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