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The serial killer stabbing young women to death in Cancun hotels with an ancient Maya sacrificial flint knife is aptly nicknamed Gilbert, after the hurricane that also devastated the tourist industry in Mexico's tropical paradise.
Luis Balam - a rare full-blooded Mayan and an ex-traffic cop who lost his job because he refused to compromise his integrity - fears one of his people will be accused of the killings and all of them made to suffer. When Proctor Smith, a shabby North American missionary, is arrested at the scene of the fourth murder, Luis would like nothing more than to see the Mayans exonerated - but an instinct for truth tells him that the hapless gringo in the Cancun prison has been framed.
Becoming involved - unofficially - in the investigation, Luis finds himself again confronting the cruel forces of brutal power and rampant corruption that control Mexico's coastal playground and that have already cost him a career. Working with an ambulance-chasing Mexican lawyer, a misguided flying saucer cultist, and the mucha simpatica sister of Gilbert's latest victim, Balam unearths new depths of local greed and depravity.
Although the goons of a vicious playboy make it clear that this time he could lose more than a job, Luis Balam is determined to free the fall guy by finding the real killer.
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Alexander, after six mysteries set in the mythical kingdom of Luong (Kiet Goes West, etc.), moves to the ``electroplated glitz'' of Cancun to introduce ex-cop Luis Balam, a full-blooded Mayan who supports his two daughters (their mother ran off) as a tour guide, a vendor of black coral, and, occasionally, as a private eye. Here, he's been asked to investigate the case of Proctor Smith, now languishing in jail for burying a Mayan ceremonial blade in prostitute Maria Lopez--a knife that indicates that Smith is the infamous ``Gilbert,'' serial killer of prostitutes in Cancun's posh Hotel Zone. But if Smith, a missionary affiliated with Tropical Language Scholars, Inc., didn't do it, then who did? Luis would like to hang the blame on developer Raoul Estrada Estrada, the man who pulled strings and got him kicked off the force, and with the help of Maria's sister, Denise, starts digging for evidence, leading to threats, bribes, the annihilation of his black coral shop, and much scrutiny of Estrada's hotel staff--plus one more murder and a parasailing fatality. Wry commentary on personalities south of the border and, maybe, the most accurate guidebook ever to Cancun and its hustling of gringo tourists--all with a plot as lively as Mexican jumping beans and, in Luis Balam, a droll hero worthy of his Luong counterpart. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
The author of six mysteries featuring Inspector Bamsan Kiet of the fictional Indochinese nation of Luong (most recently Kiet Goes West ) changes venue for a new series starring Luis Balam, a Yucatec Maya. Mexican police think they have captured the serial killer who has been stalking women in Cancun's posh Hotel Zone: Proctor Smith, a Protestant missionary, was caught leaving the room of the fourth victim, prostitute Maria Lopez, who had a Mayan knife buried in her chest. Proctor's lawyer, Ricardo Martinez Rodriguez, hires Luis to investigate. Luis would love to pin the murders on Raul Estrada Estrada, who got him thrown off the police force, but Proctor isn't making it easy: he has no alibi and a talent for picking locks. When Maria's sister, Denise Lowell, swoops down from Seattle, "raising hell and demanding answers," Inspector Hector Salgado Reyes copes by passing her on to his friend Luis. The pair readily take to each other and team up in this lively launch notable for its engaging sleuth and an assortment of colorful secondary characters, some of whom are clearly earmarked for return appearances.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Doubleday, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0385468954
Book Description Doubleday, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0385468954
Book Description Doubleday, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110385468954