The Blue Macaw

Ricky Ginsburg. Black Rose Writing, $18.95 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-1-68433-529-9
When Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cop Valarie Garibaldi, the narrator of Ginsburg’s uneven debut, returns to work after surviving ovarian cancer, she accepts a detective position in the city’s Animal Cruelty Division. Valarie spends months tracking dog fighting rings and animal abuse cases, until she gets a call from a veterinarian who has examined a giant blue macaw that crash landed in front of his clinic and voided a two-carat diamond; the vet can tell there are more stones in its stomach. When the case leads to a murdered prostitute whose body contained heroin balloons, Valarie is temporarily moved to the homicide squad, where she is partnered with veteran Det. Deesay Becerra. The trail leads Valarie and Deesay to two Miami Dolphins players, an assistant quarterback coach, two other macaws, and more diamonds. Valarie’s appealing voice gets the story off to a good start, but the plot devolves as it strains to capture the eccentricities of South Florida. Valarie isn’t a very distinctive lead, and supporting characters amount to caricatures. Solid prose suggests the author can do better next time. Agent: Randi Davis, Davis Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/06/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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