cover image Suspicion of Deceit

Suspicion of Deceit

Barbara Parker. Dutton Books, $23.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-525-94401-0

Miami attorney Gail Connor plunges into volatile Cuban-American politics in her third heady adventure (after Suspicion of Guilt.) When Gail's client, the Miami Opera, hires fast-rising singer Thomas Nolan to star in Don Giovanni, opera managers learn that Nolan recently performed in Havana. Much of Miami's Cuban community sees any such appearance as support for the hated Fidel Castro. Gail asks her fiance, Cuban-born lawyer Anthony Quintana, to intervene with the local exiles. Complicating matters is the fact that Anthony's brother-in-law, Octavio Reyes, leads the anti-Nolan talk on a Miami radio station. Just before a planned appearance on the Reyes show, Seth Greer, an old friend of Quintana and opera director Rebecca Dixon, is shot to death. Because the exiles, however passionate, seldom resort to violence, Gail wonders if Greer's death is related to his long-ago revolutionary work with Quintana and Rebecca in Nicaragua. The possibility leads her to wonder if her lover, who is adamantly secretive about his own history, could be the killer? The story and cast at first seem formulaic: the ever competent heroine, the macho but tender Latin lover, life among wealthy Miamians. The narrative triumphs, however, thanks to Parker's rich mix of tropical politics, edgy romance and secrets from the past. (Jan.)