An evocative description of Cuban life and an engrossing tale. I felt the pain of the detective dying of a genetic disorder that caused him to hallucinate. But I was let down by how this story line developed. Mike Ellis is a sympathetic character that I wanted to root for and he held my interest to the end. An OK read but not something I would recommend widely.
The Beggars Opera took me back to my trip to Cuba some years ago. The shortages, the fact that locals are restricted where they can go, the poverty and the politics. While I really enjoyed my 2 weeks in Cuba and learned a lot from the tour guide, I felt sorrow for the people and their situation. This book was well researched and captured many of those feelings.
A little neat on tying things together. but still an excellent debut novel. Also valuable lesson for being in the right place at the right time in meeting Ian Rankin.
An Ottawa author writes a police/murder drama set in Cuba featuring a Cuban detective. It makes for an interesting twist on things but without a good story line it wouldn't hold up. A young boy is raped and murdered and a visiting Ottawa policeman is accused. How his innocence is proven is a tad simplistic but the Cuban setting keeps the interest up.
I am curious to see if her next novel shows improved story telling and more complex characters.
This first mystery featuring Inspector Ramirez is a mixed bag: Ramirez and coroner/doctor/surgeon colleague Apiro are good characters, with real possibility to be great in future installments, but are bogged down in an-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plot. The story, of a Canadian police officer charged with a brutal crime while on vacation in a Havana decidedly less appealing than tourist brochures would suggest, suffers from too many complications and a crime so offensive, it may turn away many readers. Blair, and future entries in this series, may be one to watch for, but this first book might be best stopped after completing chapter 60.
In the eagerness to criticize the Castro Government in Cuba, the writer exposes cuban and canadian cops as stupid, who doesn't know what they are doing and have no idea where they stand in the investigation. Beyond the middle of the book, plot wraps more interesting , with a few twists - surprises. The book is full of terrible descriptions of abuse of children.
Fantastic mystery! Well written and full of surprises.
One of the best books I've read this year - fantastic descriptions of Havana, and its people, laws, customs, etc. A good story too. Loved it.
I read this because it was written by a classmate of mine from Mount A. While I agree that the subject matter was a bit gruesome, I couldn't put the book down. It gives great insight into Cuba. The longing look at the pencil stuck with me and was glad Peg came back to it. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Excellent, fast moving plot with unusual twists and turns.Written by a lawyer, it juxtaposes some human rights enjoyed in Canada with those of a totoletarian state[albiet dependant on tourist income]. I can't wait for the author's next novel. This is almost in the same league as Dragon Tatoo. Certainly much better than the simple plots of the Donna Leon series in Venice which have become so pedentic and predictable.
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