cover image Don’t Send Flowers

Don’t Send Flowers

Martín Solares, trans. from the Spanish by Heather Cleary. Black Cat, $16 trade paper (488p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2815-7

Solares follows The Black Minutes with a gripping crime story set amid Mexico’s escalating drug cartel wars and a nationwide atmosphere of police and judicial corruption. Extortion, kidnapping, and wholesale murder rule the Gulf city of La Eternidad in 2014. When a wealthy businessman’s teenage daughter is kidnapped, he reluctantly asks ex-cop Carlos Treviño for help. However, because he was an honest cop, Carlos is hiding from his most dangerous enemy: Police Chief Margarito González, a corrupt, vicious killer with a grudge. Carlos takes the case but knows he cannot trust anyone—certainly not the police, the military, the American consul, the man who hired him, or even the loyal bodyguard assigned to help him. His investigation is full of menace and contradictions, pitting him against merciless narco gangs and the equally ruthless and greedy officials who protect them. Betrayal is a constant threat, and Carlos knows he’s on borrowed time. He is a good detective, bold and smart, and soon realizes the kidnapping is much more complex and sinister than he first thought. This is an excellent, frightening portrayal of the breadth and depth of Mexico’s cartel violence and systemic corruption. Agent: Veronica Gagno, Schavelzon Graham Agencia. (Aug.)