Susan's Reviews > The Beggar's Opera
The Beggar's Opera
by Peggy Blair
by Peggy Blair
Aug 14, 12
Having just travelled to Cuba, this was a rich and fascinating story for me, written in dark crime fashion. Inspector Ramirez is investigating with scarce police resources the rape and murder of a Cuban boy and his prime person of interest, with a growing list of suspicions, is Mike Ellis, a Canadian tourist and police officer with secrets to hide. Blair's two main characters demonstrate the typical stereotypes we have come to learn of locals and foreigners. Inspector Ramirez moves with the cunning subtlelty of a Cuban who knows his island inside out and Mike Ellis portrays a naive Canadian tourist seeking answers to his personal dilemmas from the rum, sun and sand. While both characters belong to the law enforcement profession and seek justice for a little dead boy, they clearly come from two opposite ends of the spectrum; Ramirez with his eagerness for swift, iron-fisted justice and appeasing senior ministers to avoid an international PR disaster and Ellis with his failing marriage, disfigurment from a tragic accident and growing inability to prove his innocence in the crime. The author transports the reader into the underbelly of Havana with a backdrop of a punishing embargo, white beaches, smooth, sweet rum and Castro's political ideals. A complex and entertaining criminal investigation in a Communist society and a highly recommended novel!
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