Red Angel: A Paul Devlin Mystery

William Heffernan, Author William Morrow & Company $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-688-16563-5
Edgar Award-winner Heffernan's strong new entry in his series featuring New York City detective Paul Devlin, last seen in Winter's Gold (1997), opens with a bangDa mob shooting in Manhattan. Later, when Devlin's lover, Adrianna Mendez, learns that her Aunt Maria, a Cuban doctor, is in a Havana hospital, Devlin drops the mob case and accompanies Adrianna to Cuba. There they discover that Maria, a popular folk heroine called the Red Angel and a Castro confidante, is dead and her body missing. As officials from two state security agencies monitor the search for Maria's corpse, Devlin calls in his assistant, Ollie Pitts, for back up. Their investigation leads into the mysterious and dangerous world of Afro-Cuban religion, especially the violent Abakua secret society. But don't forget those New York mobsters. This is a very political book, with Heffernan's complex plot weaving together the Mafia with greedy U.S. and Cuban government officials. Although Devlin and Pitts are standard issue, as are the mobsters, the Cuban characters are well-drawn and attractive, even when slippery. Heffernan also does a superb job explaining the varieties of Cuban religious experience, the Cuban sensibility and the ominous shadows of a rigid police state, though at times such explanations slow down the action. Agent, Gloria Loomis. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-380-81881-5
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-202897-6
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