Six years prior to the novel's main action, Romilia Chacon's older sister was murdered brutally by a serial killer, inspiring Romilia to enter the law enforcement profession. Now, just days after Romilia suffered from a knifing to the jugular (see Home Killings), the killer strikes again. As she recuperates, Romilia searches the Internet for anything that can lead her closer to bringing the killer to justice. Meanwhile, at his home in Guatemala, drug lord Rafael Murillo illegally downloads files from the FBI database pertaining to this killer as a means of thanking Romilia for saving his life with her injury. He is also attracted to her and would do anything, save changing his business plans to support her.
In her quest to find her sister's killer, Romilia will stop at nothing; she uses excessive force against a hostile witness and is suspended from duty. But, when she offers information about Murillo to the FBI agents in charge, she is reinstated with the power to work with the feds to catch the killer, who is murdering people with little delay. The rest of the novel provides a police procedural account of the chase through the United States, the search for clues and information (many literary references), and the ultimate showdown.
The novel is told in three sections: Romilia's 1st person narrative, Murillo's 3rd person tale, and the killer's 3rd person account of why/how he commits murder. Villatoro gives readers an insight into the criminal mind as well as insight into the mind of a law enforcement official with an insatiable thirst for justice.
This report prepared by Samantha S.
Justin, Charles & Company Publishers, 2003, 24.95, 300 pp.
Over six years ago when Romilia Chacon was away at college, the serial killer "the Whisperer," murdered her older sister, Catalina. Romilia eventually joined the Nashville Police Department and currently works in homicide. Still she continues her hunt for the Whisperer, who has changed his moniker to Minos.
Currently Romilia recovers from a nasty throat slash that happened on a different case. To pass time while she heals, Romilia explores the Internet seeking information on Minos. Additionally, Guatemalan drug lord Rafael “Tekun Uman” Murillo feels he owes a debt to Romilia for saving his life when she received the gash though he knows that it was a fortunate (for him) bi-product. He steals secret FBI records on the Whisperer and sends them to her. As she gets closer to fulfilling her obsession, the Feds take a closer look at the Central American Mayan connection between her a Salvadoran and Tekun.
MINOS is a strong police procedural that looks closely at how the darker side of human nature can take control of one's consideration of others. Romilia is a great character especially as she seems nearer to catching her prey, she loses her balance somewhat neglecting her daughter and ignoring acceptable police practices. Her “assistant” Tekun is fascinating in a sleazy way. Marcos M. Villatoro provides a strong tale starring a wonderful protagonist that will send readers seeking other works by the author especially starring Romilia (see HOME KILLINGS).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner