I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dangerous Ends by Alex Segura
Series: Pete Fernandez Mystery #3
Published by Polis Books on April 11, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Law & Crime, Murder, Mystery, Suspense
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Pete Fernandez has settled into an easy, if somewhat boring life as a P.I.. He takes pictures of cheating husbands. He tracks criminals who've skipped bail and he attends weekly AA meetings The days of chasing murderous killers are behind him. Or are they?
When his partner Kathy Bentley approaches him with a potential new client, Pete balks. Not because he doesn't need the money, but because the case involves Gaspar Varela, a former Miami police officer serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife - one of the most infamous crimes in Miami history. The client? None other than Varela's daughter, Maya, who's doggedly supported her father's claims of innocence.
As Pete and Kathy wade into a case that no one wants, they also find themselves in the crosshairs of Los Enfermos, a bloodthirsty gang of pro-Castro killers and drug dealers looking to wipe Pete off the Miami map. As if trying to exonerate Varela wasn't enough, they find themselves entangled in something even older and more surprising--a bloody, political hit ordered by Fidel Castro himself, that left a still-healing scar on Pete--and his dead father's--past.
Fast-paced, hardboiled and surprising, Dangerous Ends pushes Pete Fernandez into a battle with a deadlier, more complex threat, as he tries to shake off the demons haunting Miami's own, sordid past.
"A real throwback to the kind of books I love. Segura captures the spirit of modern Miami with its complicated past and conflicted present. Pete Fernandez is the perfect hero to walk the mean streets of both worlds."—Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn and The Innocents
"Alex Segura honors the private detective tradition, but also expands it. With a rich setting and an engagingly complex main character, DANGEROUS ENDS is a tense, gripping exploration of what happens when a bloody past collides with a dangerous present."—Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone
"A case with dark, unexpected twists." —Publishers Weekly
“Alex Segura is one of the most exciting and vital voices in crime fiction today, and his Pete Fernandez series is keeping private eye fiction alive and kicking (serious ass) in the new millennium. His work does what the best crime fiction should do: take us down city streets we wouldn’t dare visit alone.” —Duane Swierczynski, Edgar Award-nominated author of Canary
"Like Elmore Leonard before him, Segura drags the darkness out into the hot sunlight. There's a lot of heart in these broken souls." —Brian Azzarello, author of 100 Bullets, Moonshine and Batman
I haven’t read a hard-boiled, noir-ish detective novel in a while, and Alex Segura’s Dangerous Ends hit all the right notes when it comes to my must-have list in these types of books. Brave yet borderline stupidly fearless main character whose sense of justice and right and wrong drives him to investigate no matter how much danger he finds himself in? Check. Quite capable co-investigators that hold their own when it comes to both digging deep and fighting dirty? Check. A setting that is so thick with history and atmosphere that it becomes another character? Double check. Even though Dangerous Ends is the third installment in the Pete Fernandez Mystery series, I got a sense of who each of the main players were right away without needing a large info dump to catch up, and I really loved that. Pete and his partner Kathy felt real right from the start.
Recently sober private investigator Pete Fernandez is recruited by his journalist/investigative partner Kathy Bentley to dig into the case of Gaspar Varela, a cop convicted of murdering his wife several years ago. They’re hired by the cop’s daughter Maya, who’s been the only advocate for her father since he was jailed even though he’s always proclaimed his innocence. Threads of police corruption and links to local gangs are uncovered pretty quickly, and both Pete and Kathy’s lives are threatened as they move closer to the truth. Pete’s ex-girlfriend’s husband is murdered as well, and even though Pete says that he won’t investigate for his toxic ex, he can’t help but snoop around a little to find out why this successful business man wound up stabbed and dumped in a park.
One aspect that I really loved about Dangerous Ends were the flashbacks in Pete’s grandfather’s and father’s points of views. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but you get to explore what it’s like to flee Cuba under the Castro regime in the 1950s and establish yourself in Miami. You get a great sense of history and how much this shaped Miami, as well as how these two men shaped Pete even though he might not admit it. Pete strives to live up to his detective father’s almost perfect legacy, and he’s struggling under the pressure.
Pete is an excellent detective, even though he’s a bit shaky at life at the moment. Since he’s quit drinking, Pete’s going to AA and hanging on as best as he can, but he needs something to fill his time. It doesn’t take him long to ask the right questions that anger the wrong people, so he’s running for his life in no time. Kathy is smart and tough, and she definitely doesn’t hold her tongue. She doesn’t suffer fools, and I loved her for that. Recently retired FBI agent Robert Harras has to work with these two, and he’s used to doing things by the book. It doesn’t take much for him to be frustrated when Pete goes off on his own and doesn’t check in, but Harras definitely has their back when times get tough.
I give Dangerous Ends a 4.5 out of 5. I really loved the fast pace, the gritty setting, and the tight situations that Pete found himself in. The bad guys were tough to pin down, and there were definitely twists that I didn’t predict. The characters were well-developed and fleshed out, and I definitely had no problems reading this as a stand alone. Alex Segura seamlessly wove three story lines together, and they definitely connected in a way that was satisfying. I’m a fan now, and I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Pete stirs up next.
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About Alex Segura
He has also written a number of comic books, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed Archie Meets Kiss storyline, the “Occupy Riverdale” story, Archie Meets Ramones and the upcoming The Archies one-shot.
He lives in New York with his wife and son. He is a Miami native.
Connect with Alex Segura
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