Detective Romilia Chacon has to rely on her training and determination to save her in the showdown against a killer who is a self-styled Minos.
"Villatoro's lyrical writing style provides the perfect vehicle for describing his fascinatingly flawed Salvadoran protagonist, Nashville homicide detective Romilia Chacon. Romilia's sister, Catalina, was tortured and executed six years ago by a serial killer known as the Whisperer. Romilia is currently recuperating from a horrible neck wound administered by another serial killer who--unlike the still-at-large Whisperer--is dead. As she tries to deal with her deep scars, emotional and otherwise, Romilia must maintain equilibrium for her four-year-old son, Sergio, and her mother, who lives with them. Increasingly, she seeks help from cigarettes and whiskey. When the Whisperer strikes again, Romilia is hot on his tail--despite warnings from her lieutenant. Along the way, she rekindles her indefinable connection with a charismatic drug dealer for whom she feels both a revulsion and strong attraction. This is a compelling, character-driven novel in which Villatoro generates tremendous sympathy for his complex and very human heroine. Unfortunately, the author's overreliance on stomach-churning graphic violence detracts from the power of interpersonal drama. --Jenny McLarin Copyright 2003 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"At the start of Villatoro's scintillating, densely plotted sequel to 2001's Home Killing, bilingual Nashville cop Romilia Chacon has been searching for six years for "the Whisperer," the serial killer who murdered her older sister, Catalina. Romilia's hunt for the elusive Whisperer, now calling himself Minos (after the mythical monster in Dante's Inferno), is interrupted when she finds herself in the hospital with a horrible gash on her neck, a near-fatal wound from another killer she was pursuing. Her struggle to come to terms with the large, unsightly scar she will always bear quietly wins her the reader's sympathy. During her convalescence, she discovers the Internet and an entirely new way to investigate the Whisperer. An unexpected source, however, provides the most help: drug lord Rafael Murillo, a creepy yet alluring figure also known by the Mayan name Tekun Um n. Romilia inadvertently saved his life when she was wounded, and in return Tekun steals FBI files on the Whisperer and sends them to her. There's something appealing, in spite of his nature, in Tekun's devotion to Romilia. In addition, the contrast of a palpably present, ambiguous antagonist, Tekun, and the evil Whisperer creates a compelling, dramatic balance. The ending resolves beautifully, but that is really secondary considering how well the story works as a whole. (Sept. 15) Forecast: Blurbs from C.J. Box and T. Jefferson Parker and an author tour will boost the book's profile. As the host of "Shelf Life," a weekly interview program on Pacifica radio, Villator, a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, is well positioned to cover his local market of Los Angeles. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved