RARA-AVIS: U.S. and Uruguay: King, Gores, Chavarrí¡¼/H1> From: K Montin ( kmontin@total.net)
Date: 01 Jul 2002

Night Work by Laurie R. King. I think this is her latest in the Martinelli series. I bought it new (sound trumpets), really liked it and will be going to the library for more. Detective Kate Martinelli and her partner are looking for a killer, maybe a serial killer, who has it in for abusive men who have escaped legal punishment. There is a tie-in with the Hindu goddess Kali and another with bride-burning--could it/has it happened in California? It is well paced and as usual I didn't figure out who did it. Each chapter epigraph is a verse from a poem by May Sarton about Kali. I could hardly put the book down.

Just finished Cons, Scams and Grifts by Joe Gores, possibly his most recent
(2001). My first by him, but definitely not the last. It was so gripping, I read it in about three days. This one is in the DKA series. Several subplots swirl around: classic car repossession, Gypsy murderess, stolen valuable. The Gypsy angle--where most of the cons, scams and grifts come in--is very interesting and appears to be well researched. The American Gypsy culture is described in a lot of detail. The storming of a remote secure facility was tense, the murder subplot was intriguing and the cons were great (since they're happening to someone else). By the end of the book, ten or so agency employees involved have become familiar, despite the fairly large cast of characters.

I also read Adios Muchachos by Daniel Chavarrí¡® He's Uruguayan, but he set the story in Havana, I guess because the big motivation for Alicia, the main character, is getting rich and getting away. There's no murder, but there is an unfortunate accident, and a few other crimes along the way, black humour and lots of steamy sex. Alicia's a prostitute, one who turns down money and even refuses gifts--until the man really insists. Then she'll take an air conditioner, freezer, fancy food (which her mother cooks up) and so on. She also very much enjoys her work. Not your typical hooker.
(Kind of a male fantasy, hooker, it would seem.) The story is fairly amusing and quite original. The translation (by Carlos Lopez, giving credit where credit is due) is good: nice and colloquial.


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