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.Blackout by Alex Segura
Series: Pete Fernandez Mystery #4
Published by Polis Books on May 8, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Murder, Mystery, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Thriller, Violence
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Acclaimed novelist Alex Segura returns with Blackout, his fourth Pete Fernandez Mystery – which drags the embattled PI back to Miami for his deadliest case yet.
In Blackout, startling new evidence in a cold case that’s haunted Pete drags the exiled PI back to his hometown of Miami. But as Pete and his partner Kathy Bentley delve deeper into the unsolved murder, they become entangled in Miami’s obsession with a charismatic and dangerous cult leader and his even more menacing followers. At the same time, the detectives find themselves at odds with a Florida politician’s fixation on wealth, fame and power. It all converges in the heart of the Magic City and Pete is left scrambling to pick up the pieces—or die trying.
The Pete Fernandez novels have always run on two tracks – the long-buried Miami mystery that Pete is forced to solve, and Pete’s often unpredictable evolution from self-destructive alcoholic to somewhat functional private eye. In Blackout, those two tracks blend into one dark, personal and deadly tale of dangerous obsession that will leave Pete Fernandez completely changed. It’s all been building to this.
Blackout hits on May 8 in hardcover and ebook from Polis Books.
Advance Praise for Blackout:
Named one of the most anticipated crime novels of 2018 by Literary Hub/CrimeReads, Mystery People and BookBub!
“Expertly weaving the past and present, Alex Segura masterfully cranks the tension while revealing the demons that both haunt P.I. Pete Fernandez and drive him forward. BLACKOUT will hook you on Fernandez and Alex Segura. Let’s have more, and soon.”
?Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of The Wanted
“Blackout has everything that terrific detective fiction demands—a sharp, twisty plot full of shadowed corners, hot and humid streets, and brutal, yet convincing crimes. But it also delivers on the human level—showing characters at their most vulnerable, damaged, and desperate while demonstrating their powers of resilience and insisting on the possibility for redemption.” — Ivy Pochoda, acclaimed author of Wonder Valley
“Alex Segura one of the writers who reminds me why I fell in love with PI fiction and wanted to write it.” ?Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Sunburn
“Blackout is cool, vivid—and poignant. In Alex Segura’s capable hands, Florida becomes a haunted landscape where hope can’t quite be eradicated. We’re with Pete Fernandez every step of the way.” — Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award winning author of UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere
“Alex Segura’s latest is dark, devious, and devastating. Deftly shifting through three distinct periods in time, he shows us the scars that never heal, while allowing for moments of grace. Blackout is, quite simply, a knockout.” — Hilary Davidson, Anthony Award–winning author of One Small Sacrifice
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After reading a lot of contemporary fiction geared towards women lately, I didn’t know how much I needed to sink my teeth into a gritty, hard-boiled thrilling mystery. Alex Segura’s last installment in the Pete Fernandez Mystery series, Dangerous Ends, was my first introduction to this fantastically rich and dirty look at the seedy underbelly of south Florida. After loving all of the twists and turns that Pete encountered during his murder investigation with his investigative partner Kathy and reluctant ex-FBI investigative partner Robert Harras, I really hoped that Blackout would be as good as Dangerous Ends–and my expectations were wildly exceeded.
Picking up about a year or so after Dangerous Ends left off, Pete has put down flimsy roots in New York where he and Kathy fled when there was money put on their heads by a large gang in Miami. Kathy finally returned to Miami and a career in journalism, while Pete has set up another private investigation firm in a crappy suburb and is trying to stay sober, not think of all the ways he’s messed up in life, and not contacting any of his friends back home. But his mistakes find a way of catching up with him, and he finds himself returning to Miami when he’s hired to find the adult son of a prominent senator who’s going to make a run for governor of Florida. Not only does he try to find this man who doesn’t seem to want to be found, but he’s coerced into looking into the murder of his classmate fifteen years earlier. Not only was Pete the last person to see Patty alive, but Pete’s detective father looked into the then missing person’s case back in 1998. Pete doesn’t know that these cases will intersect with a well-known religious cult that was popular and powerful years earlier, but no one dares speak ill of the members. How does Pete dig deeper into this cult without putting the cross hairs on himself?
I really love Pete’s character progression throughout these novels. He’s very human and it’s not just the case that is focused on throughout, but the emotional impact on Pete and the characters closest to him as well is explored. He’s stopped drinking now, but he’s still self-destructive in other ways and charges into danger all alone as usual. He’s never concerned for himself, but his love and compassion runs deep for his friends. All of the secondary characters are so well-developed and well-used. There are no filler characters here–everyone is important to the story and drive the fast-paced plot forward. From Kathy and Harras to the propriety of a motel in Key West, everyone had a role to play.
I give Blackout a five out of five. Much bigger in scope, this fourth installment digs much deeper into Pete’s psyche as a young man as he formed into who he is today through flashbacks to 1998. The tension and action grew throughout until it exploded at the end, and Pete was certainly left picking up a lot of pieces at the end. The writing was atmospheric and descriptive, leaving me with a fantastic picture of the hot, humid tropical air down south. Alex Segura has matured and tightened his writing, all while delivering the entertainment. I certainly look forward to what Pete Fernandez gets into next. I mean, where else will you see an ex-FBI agent plow over a high-ranking gang banger with his SUV just to save our detective? Not in your run of the mill thriller, mind you.
About Alex Segura
Alex Segura is a novelist and comic book writer. He is the author of the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery novels, which include SILENT CITY, DOWN THE DARKEST STREET, DANGEROUS ENDS, and BLACKOUT all via Polis Books.
He has also written a number of comic books, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed ARCHIE MEETS KISS storyline, the “Occupy Riverdale” story, and the ARCHIE MEETS RAMONES and THE ARCHIES one-shots.
His work has appeared in the anthologies PROTECTORS 2, WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN: STORIES OF CRIME AND HEARTBREAK INSPIRED BY THE REPLACEMENTS and APOLLO’S DAUGHTERS and in publications including The Daily Beast,
The Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Strand, Mental Floss, LitReactor, and more.
A Miami native, he lives in New York with his wife and son.
Connect with Alex Segura
Alex Segura’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for BLACKOUT:
Monday, May 21st: Jathan & Heather
Tuesday, May 22nd: M. Denise Costello
Wednesday, May 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, May 30th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Monday, June 4th: Instagram: @strandedinbooks
Thursday, June 7th: Jessicamap Reviews
Friday, June 8th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, June 11th: Instagram: @tbretc
Tuesday, June 12th: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, June 13th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Thursday, June 14th: Helen’s Book Blog