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The intrepid war reporter soon witnesses a priest being shot. The bullet rebounds on the cross the holly man wears around his neck and leaves him unharmed. Cobb employs a young pickpocket to help him find out the identity of the sniper and, more importantly, why important German officials are coming into the city in the middle of the night from ammunition ships docked in the port.
An exciting tale of intrigue and espionage, Butler's powerful crime-fiction debut is a thriller not to be missed.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Pulitzer Prize–winner Butler's ambitious first crime novel introduces Christopher Marlowe "Kit" Cobb, an American war correspondent who has come to Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1914 to cover the country's civil war. A passionate believer in the power of a free press and the moral superiority of the United States, Kit is no mere observer. He assumes a false identity to pursue German diplomat Friedrich von Mensinger en route to a meeting with revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, and the correspondent soon finds himself up to his neck in political intrigue. The large cast includes laundress Luisa Morales, a pretty señorita with whom Kit becomes romantically involved; Gerhard Vogel, an American-born German soldier; and a resourceful pickpocket, Diego, who acts as Kit's eyes and ears. A fine stylist, Butler (A Small Hotel) renders the time and place in perfect detail, though readers should be prepared for a sluggish plot that lingers over the minutiae of the political machinations. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Associates. (Oct.)