It's a cool Monday morning in October 1972, and the Belken County Homicide Squad is dealing with a dead body found in an abandoned car in the middle of a cotton field. Lieutenant Detective Rafe Buenrostro and the four other men making up the squad are accustomed to corpses, even though they live and work in a mostly rural area of South Texas along the Mexican border.
The bloody scene at the Kum Bak Inn is a different story, though, and one that is impossible to get used to: three men--including one of their own--slaughtered so brutally that their faces, arms, legs and even genitalia have been completely severed from their bodies. Two witnesses spared this horrific death are able to provide first-hand descriptions of the killers: three Mexican nationals, armed with machine guns, driving a cream-colored, four-door Oldsmobile.
These clues send Rafe and his colleagues down a twisting path strewn with leads and assumptions, many of which lead to dead ends after patient, plodding examination. But it's a meeting with their Mexican counterpart, Captain Lisandro Gomez Solis of the Tamaulipas State Police, which sets them on the trail that will eventually lead them to the killers. The way is littered with suspects and shady characters, including a veteran car thief, unsuspecting drug mules, dirty bank tellers and double-crossing Mexican gangsters.
Foreshadowing the horrifying violence plaguing Mexico and the border area, Rolando Hinojosa's first mystery novel featuring characters from his acclaimed Klail City Death Trip series about life along the Texas-Mexico border was originally published in 1985 and has been out of print for many years. Partners in Crime is a procedural whodunit that will satisfy the most hardened mystery book aficionado.
About Rolando Hinojosa
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Published November 30, 2011
by Arte Publico Pr.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime.