Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blackout in Precinct Puerto Rico-Steven Torres

Blackout in Precinct Puerto Rico
Steven Torres
Minotaur, Mar 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312321130

In Angustias, Puerto Rico, town Sheriff Luis Gonzalo tells his young deputy Hector Pareda to enjoy his vacation time as he and his septuagenarian other deputy Emilio Collazo will work the beat. The two law enforcement officials make the rounds especially of the four parties reminding attendees to cause no trouble.

After a long day, Luis goes to sleep when he and his wife are awakened by screaming. He races outside follows the shrieks to the nearby Ferre home where the sixteen years old daughter Luisa is outside hysterical, totally naked except for a sock and scratching at her breast. She is taken to a hospital where the nurse on duty confirms she has been raped. All circumstantial evidence points to her unconscious intoxicated father, Francisco. Luis arrests him, but continues to investigate seeking further proof that the dad did the crime.

The latest Angustias police procedural is a superb tale with a great twist that shakes the sheriff, his elderly deputy, the townsfolk and readers. The key to the tale is the reaction of the townsfolk (including Luis and the teen victim’s mother) who believe Francisco raped the daughter as the circumstantial evidence proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did. With a look back in time to the case in an era when DNA testing did not exist, fans will feel the sheriff’s myriad of emotions as he works a horrific case.

Harriet Klausner

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