Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Lady from Buenos Aires -- John Lantigua

It's interesting to me that John Lantigua, who was nominated for an Edgar for his first novel, is now being published by Arte Publico Press, out of the University of Houston. Another example of a small press doing a good job.

In this p.i. novel, Willie Cuesta gets involved with the Argentine community in Miami. He's hired to find the daughter of a woman who was "disappeared" twenty years ago in Argentina's "dirty war." In the course of his search, he runs into a diplomat, a realtor who isn't what he seems, a former CIA agent, a nightclub owner, a suspicious husband, and any number of ladies from Buenos Aires. It seems that nearly all of them have pasts they'd rather not have revealed. Murders ensue. Willie has a couple of very close calls himself.

Some readers will remember the events the book refers to, but you don't have to remember them to realize how terrible they were and how they affected those involved. Lantigua does a good job of showing all that. Willie Cuesta is appropriately persistent and resilient, and he comes up with the answers just before it's too late for all concerned. Check it out.

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