Dunne, May 2004, 23.43, 256 pp.
In Angustias, Puerto Rico, Sheriff Luis Gonzalo celebrates his twenty-fifth year on the job and practically the whole town is in the village square for the gala. His big moment is interrupted when he see flames burning Pedro Ortiz's home. By the time people arrive to help put the fire out, the abode is aflame. When they are finally enter the arson scene they see Pedro with bullets in his body and his wife with a bullet in her head.
Nobody knows that there was a confrontation earlier between Pedro and two furious killers who demanded one million dollars and the cocaine they hid on his property that he burned. The two thugs look for the money and they don't care who they hurt or kill to et it. When the Metropolitans are called in by the new mayor, Luis doesn't trust them. They try to squeeze him out of the investigation but Angustias is Luis's town and he is not going to let politicians, police or crooks destroy it.
Steven Torres paints such a vivid picture of Puerto Rico that readers will want to go to villages like Angustias. With that picturesque backdrop fans know from the very beginning the identities of the villains but the thrill is in finding the proof of their crimes. The protagonist is a civil servant who cares about his town, his officers and his family and he is not about to let it become a haven for criminals. He is a brilliant investigator who is not afraid to follow his hunches even when it means he is putting his life on the line. This police procedural is a fast-paced, exciting and a very satisfying reading experience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner