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Lantigua’s new book is out, and the reviews are great!


In Lantigua’s gripping fourth novel featuring Miami PI Willie Cuesta (after 2007’s The Lady from Buenos Aires), Carmen Vickers de Estrada, who moved to Miami from Medellín, Colombia, to escape the threat of kidnapping, asks Cuesta, who’s been serving as security chief for his brother’s nightclub, to protect her son, José, and his girlfriend, Catalina Cordero. Two years earlier in Colombia, Carmen’s husband was killed resisting abduction, and a year later, José was held captive for seven months even after the ransom was paid. After only a few days on the job, Cuesta witnesses a team of men snatch Catalina from a car blocked on a Key Biscayne road. Cuesta’s quest to rescue Catalina, whose relationship with her captors is unclear, takes him to Colombia. The fast-paced action is well matched by concise prose, making this a treat for Elmore Leonard devotees. (Mar.)

BOOKLIST (starred review)

On Hallowed Ground Lantigua, John (Author) May 2011. 272 p. Arte Publico, paperback, $16.95. (9781558856950).

This thoroughly entertaining crime novel flirts with a number of the genre’s central themes— kidnapping for ransom, drug dealing, betrayal, revenge, the silky seductiveness of a whole lot of money—filtering them through the special sensibility of Miami PI Willie Cuesta. He’s an ex-cop making it on his own now, but that’s his only stock ingredient. He’s not bitter, disillusioned, wounded, any of that. And when he’s offered an outlandish fee to protect the son of a wealthy Key Biscayne family, he doesn’t hide his glee at what looks like easy money, or his curiosity about this posh family. When the case goes haywire and the car chases and the gun battles begin, Cuesta can’t help noticing the special color of the duct tape binding him and the great taste of top-line Columbian coffee the reprobates serve. With artfully concealed timing, the author reveals the kidnapers’ hidden agenda: as in Chinatown and some of the Spenser novels, there’s a sense that evil originates in the family. A real find for crime-fiction fans.