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Night of the Jaguar: A Novel
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Night of the Jaguar: A Novel

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
In Joe Gannon's debut novel, Night of the Jaguar, a former Sandinista guerrilla comandante turned cop investigates a series of murders that appear to be political executions.

Sandinista Police Captain Ajax Montoya is six days sober and losing his mind. How else to explain his nights waking in bed, his hand wrapped around that bloody-minded stiletto from the old days, or the
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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E.R. Yatscoff
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Deception, intrigue, and politics in post-Somoza Nicaragua. Ajax Montoya, Nicaraguan cop must negotiate politics, murders, and the revolutionary council as he tries to investigate murders that may be linked to the old revolution days when he was the jaguar, hero of the revolution. Nowadays, Alex is a lowly cop trying to sort out his own life and figure out where the post-Sandinista revo. is going. A good perspective on a time and place rarely written about. A clearance pile book. My own crime no ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review and this book was honestly intriguing, fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable! Before it was over with, Ajax had me singing Alice in Chains' Rooster because he was a tough character and I did not want him to die. There were so many times that you didn't know who to trust and who was this "visitor" that kept showing up pulling strings like a puppet master? And was the specter real or someone sent to drive him further into madness? I would rec ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In “Night of the Jaguar,’’ Joe Gannon’s debut novel, the setting is Nicaragua in 1986. It opens with a prologue — two cousins recite poetry while camped out after a day of tracking a jaguar in the mountain forest. When they have the misfortune to overhear nearby voices, their fates are sealed. It will take the entire novel for Captain Ajax Montoya to unravel what happened to them and why.

Montoya is a classic noir detective, a hero and a wounded war horse (he’s got shrapnel permanently lodged in
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
On its own terms, as a thriller-diller, this is a terrific read, well plotted, with compelling characters, and moral dilemmas, and thrills galore.

Night of the Jaguar takes place in Nicaragua, mostly in Managua, and the not so distant bush, after the Sandinista Triumph, but during the contra war. All the skullduggery of the period happens in the few weeks of this narrative, and all the players are assembled - revolutionaries, bureaucrats, counter-revolutionaries, security forces, US Senators and
Robert Intriago
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p-i, 2014
A difficult book to rate. The murder mystery is interesting but the story is confusing. The author tries to put too much information about the Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution and the US involvement with the Contras. The information is interesting but the large amount of twists in the story tend to overwhelm you as to what actually is going on and who belongs to what side. The main character is a former Sandinista revolutionary who is now a captain in Nicaragua’s police. He is tasked with invest ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won
I received this advanced copy from Good Reads.

This story takes place during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. It follows Ajax Montoya, once a hero of the Sandinita's, now a police captain trying to stay sober. Solving the murder of a coffee farmer leads Montoya down the convoluted road of political power struggles, greed and many more murders. Gannon keeps you guessing till the last chapter - who really was/is the power behind the scene and what was the real motive that caused the farmer's murder
Scott Stewart
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read an Advanced copy to review.

This was a pretty good suspense novel and those that enjoy political intrigue and CIA contracted killings will enjoy this story. Some of you may even draw a comparison to a real event in our history, the Iran Contra Affair, There is murder and thrills, and a very interesting main character, Montoya (who has real personal issues).
Jared Solko
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just started reading it! Can't wait to finish and will update my review when complete! Thank you!
Gloria Feit
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A murder mystery wrapped up in the politics of Sandinista Nicaragua during the 1980’s, including the US-sponsored Contra rebels opposing the government, makes for a most unusual setting in this debut novel. Ajax Montoya, a hero who gained a reputation as a leader in the revolution against the dictator Somoza, failed to attain the lofty heights of power some of the other leading revolutionary leaders did after gaining their objective and is ‘just’ a police captain, fighting his nightmares through ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing setting and time period for a thriller! Do you remember the news being filled with stories during the 1970s and 1980s from Nicaragua, Managua, and the Sandinistas? I do. And author Joe Gannon was right there in the thick of things as a journalist in the 1980s. This is Joe Gannon's first novel and he has brilliantly capitalized on his experiences in Nicaragua to write this thriller.

Haunted by his past, Sandinista Police Captain Ajax Montoya spends his days fighting crime and solvi
Shelly Donaghey
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, mystery
NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR takes place in the bloody landscape of mid-1980s Nicaragua. The main character is Captain Ajax Montoya of the Polícía Sandanista, fighter in and survivor of the revolution. He is a solitary man who reads his thesaurus like a bible and has been sober for almost a week.
He and his new partner, Lt. Gladys Dario, must solve a series of brutal killings. They are gruesome but the true problem to solve is how they link to killings done by State Security almost half a dozen years be
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
So-so on the mystery behind a murder on the streets of Managua, but well done on describing Nicaragua after the Sandinista revolution and the impact of Reagan's Cold War Contra support. A burnt-out revolutionary drunkard had been among the vanguard but now is out of the loop and barely holding on to his job as a police detective in the capital. Haunted by one particular killing from his days as a fighter against the Somoza regime, Ajax Montoya gets sober and immediately caught up in more politic ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A mystery set in 1968 Nicaragua, full of politics and suspense.

Night of the Jaguar is a mélange of the ways politics not only makes strange bedfellows but also spawns recurrent cycles of deceit and murder, where, once he gains control, the triumphant underdog simply replaces the ousted tyrant . . . and “’Every Judas is a friend of every Cain.’

This is an except from the full review written for the NY Journal of Books.
This novel was supplied by the publisher and no remuneration was involved in th
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Well...some pretty strange things happen in this book. I kept reading because there aren't many books in English set in Nicaragua, and so it was nice to get some more history through the story.
But lots of people got killed, and everyone had secrets from everyone else and it just got too crazy at the end.
John Addiego
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The setting and topic (Nicaragua, mid-80s) is dear to my heart, and this author has lots of wonderful insider details. The tension and political stuff is very well done. The scenes where "the needle" is employed are harrowing. Reflections of Martin Cruz Smith's Havana Bay, a book I really love, in this novel.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book, although the characters were a bit hard to follow at times. Good story, the plot gets shaky in spots, but I really liked the main character and his demons. Overall, a pretty good debut.
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was a little unsure if I would like this book at first.But it really grabbed me.The author is so efficient with his narrative.He created a lot of intimacy between his characters without excessive description.The more I think about this book the more I like it.Hoping it turns into a series.
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gr-giveaways
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

This book got a better as it went along. In the beginning it was a bit confusing but around the middle I was able to sort out the characters and get a better sense of the plot. Mr. Gannon did keep me guessing until the end.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A very flawed hero who reads the thesaurus for fun(neat guy); a suspenseful, fast-paced plot; and a touch of the supernatural make an interesting read. -
Oct 22, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2015-new
Pati Chevis
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting facts about Sandinistas.
Oct 26, 2014 added it
Burnt out guerrilla has tumbled from hero of the revolution to lowly captain in the Sandinista police due to drink and disrespect. Draws a murder cases with political overtones in 1976 Managua.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 12, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 30, 2015
Relina Langridge
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2017
Race Bannon Berns
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Feb 24, 2015
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Mar 05, 2016
David Edmonds
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Jan 20, 2015
rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2016
at a quarter way in, I still don't see the plot developing. I'm giving up on this one.
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