cover image Blood in the Cut

Blood in the Cut

Alejandro Nodarse. Flatiron, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-32651-5

A Cuban American ex-con fights to hold his family together in Nodarse’s standout debut. After being released from prison following a three-year drug sentence, Iggy Guerra returns to Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood with hopes of reconnecting with his family and putting the past behind him. With his mother’s recent death in an auto accident, however, plus his father’s mounting debt, his younger brother’s intentions of quitting high school, and the family butcher shop on the brink of closing under pressure from an arrogant competitor, Iggy finds his family in shambles. All responsibility falls on him, it seems, to fix the mess. Things become even more complicated when Iggy’s father is arrested for butchering illegally killed game for an unscrupulous Everglades rancher. Then Iggy discovers that his mother’s death may not have been an accident, and he’s compelled to seek street justice against her killer without ending up back behind bars. Nodarse draws taut suspense from intermingling the fate of the butcher shop, Iggy’s father’s shady dealings, and the mystery of his mother’s death, tying everything together with a stirring conclusion. He enhances the action with indelible descriptions of the Florida setting that underline the state’s intoxicating blend of beauty and danger. S.A. Cosby fans, take note: this jagged Southern neo-noir is not to be missed. Agent: Ian Bonaparte, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (June)