Review: Miami private investigator Guadalupe "Lupe" Solano is hired to do a background check on a client of defense attorney Tommy McDonald, who has retained him in the event she's charged with the murder of two men she knew, in Bloody Twist, the seventh mystery in this series by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera.
The client is Madeline Marie Meadows, who is known around Miami as the city's highest paid escort. Her claim to fame: she's a virgin. But two men in her life — her gynecologist, and her most regular customer — have been murdered. Madeline fears she'll be accused of being implicated in their deaths, and in a pre-emptive move, she hires Tommy to represent her. To prepare for an eventual defense, Tommy in turn hires Lupe to find out everything she can about Madeline. But Lupe is suspicious of Madeline from the very beginning; after an introductory interview, when Tommy asks her what she thinks of his client, she tells him, "I don't believe much of what came out of her mouth."
The narrative style in Bloody Twist is light and breezy, and appropriate to the characters and setting. Almost nine years have passed since the last Lupe Solano mystery was published, so the early chapters here are dedicated to re-introducing readers to the character. It's a bit tedious and even new readers might find this introduction overly lengthy, even overwhelming, as it goes on far too long. Even when Lupe finally gets into investigative mode, the plot moves along at an easy-going, relaxed pace. All this is well and good and generally entertaining until the end … when one realizes how poorly developed the plot is, and how unfairly it plays out. Early on, Lupe's assistant Leo is described to the reader as "so thorough at digging into people's pasts that by the time he was done, I would know what color panties Madeline wore — that was, if she wore any." And yet Leo — and Lupe — completely misses something critically obvious about Madeline that ultimately factors into to the "twist" promised by the book's title. To conveniently omit this fact early, only to include it late in Lupe's investigation, is disingenuous. It's also rather disrespectful to the reader — and especially so if the author is planning more mysteries in this series.
Acknowledgment: Carolina Garcia-Aguilera provided a copy of Bloody Twist for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Bloody Twist: Miami, Florida
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Bloody Twist by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera — A Lupe Solano Mystery
Publisher: Miramar Publishing
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: June 2010
List Price: $12.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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