Monday, August 08, 2011
Review of Viper by John Desjarlais
Summary: (From http://www.johndesjarlais.com)
Haunted by the loss of her brother to drugs and a botched raid that ended her career with the DEA, insurance agent Selena De La Cruz hoped to start afresh in rural Illinois. But her gung-ho former boss needs her back to hunt “The Snake,” a dealer she helped arrest who is out of prison and systematically killing anyone who ever crossed him. His ‘hit list’, appended to a Catholic Church’s All Souls Day ‘Book of the Deceased,’ shows Selena’s name last. Working against time, small town prejudice and the suspicions of her own Latino community, Selena races to find The Snake before he reaches her name while a girl visionary claims a “Blue Lady” announces each killing in turn. Is it Our Lady of Guadalupe or, as others believe, the Aztec goddess of Death?
Another excellent mystery by John Desjarlais. Too often anymore, you read a thriller/mystery and have to wonder if the main character is even human for all the abuse and emotional trauma they live through in the course of a book. The thing I enjoy most about John's books is that he doesn't rely on over-the-top action or heart-clutching angst to get you through a story. Rather, he begins with a strong mystery with believable characters you could expect to find living next door, and he lets the excitement and the emotion flow naturally from the story. The result is a novel that will keep you reading through the end, but not leave you feeling like the characters--and you--need a long vacation on a deserted island just to recover! The Catholic and Hispanic culture, so well researched and deeply infused in the book, add flavor and uniqueness. Definitely worth reading!