Heat Lighting

John Lantigua, Author Putnam Publishing Group $17.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-13300-8
Set in the Mission district of San Francisco, this suspense novel captures the claustrophobic atmosphere that twists Central American politics and the innocents caught in the middle. The body of a young Salvadorian refugee granted political asylum in S.F. is found murdered death-squad style: single bullet to the head, thumbs tied behind the back. She's a warning to those who can read the signs. In his search for the killer, police detective David Cruz finds himself in the company of former Gardia generals, closemouthed guerrillas and opportunistic businessmenvultures that feed on the desperate. For all the atrocities depicted and referred to, the work avoids the politics of the situation, relying on sharp observations of the Latino environment to flavor an otherwise predictable police thriller. Lantigua is a journalist who has covered Central America; his knowledge and awareness are put to good use here, in a narrative as timely as today's headlines. Readers will find themselves questioning why the appropriate federal agencies ignore the claims of beaten and frightened Salvadorian refugees in Califoria. (October 14)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 00/00/0000
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