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Posts Tagged ‘Puerto Rican heroine’

THE LAST GIG by Norman Green: Book review

If you’re looking for a mystery featuring a trash-talking Puerto Rican babe from the streets of the tough Brooklyn Brownsville neighborhood, The Last Gig is for you.

Alessandra Martillo grew up on her own after the death of her mother and the desertion of her father.  Before he left, however, her father taught her that she had to protect herself and showed her how to do it, and that’s a lesson she learned well.  At twelve she ran away from an uncaring, unloving aunt and slept in a neighborhood pool hall when she was lucky and on the streets of Brownsville when she wasn’t. The shrink’s report on her noted that she had a “personality disorder, attachment disorder, and borderline sociopathic tendencies.”   He didn’t mention she’s afraid of almost nothing and once started can’t be stopped.

Alex is working for a former cop, ostensibly as an office assistant but in reality doing the tough, often dirty jobs he can no longer handle.

This debut novel begins with a gangster who comes to the agency to find out who’s skimming from his various businesses.  Is there a connection between that and the recent death of his musician son, a death that has been ruled a drug-related suicide although nothing much seems to confirm that.

As Alex gets deeper into the case, she’s threatened, beaten, almost raped, attracted to one of the musicians in the band the gangster’s son played in, deals with the upcoming death of her beloved “tio Roberto,” and reconnects with the father who has reentered her life.   All of this while trying to figure out who the traitor is in the  mob boss’ operation and retrieving a tape showing steamy sex between the mobster’s dead son and a top female rocker nicknamed “God.”  This girl is busy!

The Last Gig has a handful of interesting characters:  Marty Stiles, Alex’s boss, a man who’ll do pretty much anything for a dollar and who’s past his prime but won’t admit it; Anthony, her tio Roberto’s lover; and her Aunt Magdalena who barely fed and clothed her after Alex’s mother’s death.  If there are to be future novels in this series, I hope they’ll still be around.

This novel has a lot going for it–an interesting heroine, lots of action, and family dynamics that should continue to play out in any future books.  Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Alex Martillo-she’s a chica to watch.

Norman Green needs to have his own web site.  If you’re reading this, Mr. Green, why not contact–the best in the web design business.