Wednesday, October 5, 2016

53. Sugar Skull - Denise Hamilton

#2 Eve Diamond, LA reporter
read on my Kindle
2003, Scribner
Hardcover has 304 pgs.
Adult murder mystery
Finished 10/5/16
Goodreads rating: 3.57 (228 ratings)
My rating: 3
Setting: Contemporary LA - lots of description

First line/s:  "I was sitting at the city desk, halfway through my first cup of cafeteria coffee, when I saw him.  His jacket was flapping, his arms flailing, as he sprinted along the computer terminals and zigzagged past three-foot pile of newspapers, eyes trained on the prize -- a big sign that said METRO, under which I sat, scanning the wires on a slow Saturday morning."

My comments:  Although this is an excellent mystery, there are four very ridiculous scenarios that help the plausibility score plunge.  (Hints...quick romance, way-too-easy and unbelievable confessions - twice,  shrugged-off robberies, finding people in immense, crazy crowds - again, twice...I keep thinking of more and more....)  Eve Diamond is a reporter.  Media.  Yuck.  The best part of the book?  The great vocabulary.  Hamilton uses words that you don't often run across in a murder mystery.  Vitrine.  Puerile.  Oleaginous.  Atavistic.  Penumbra.  Naiads.  Fecund.  I have a whole, wonderful list.  So will I read another?  Sure!
*You also learn a lot about the Latino music culture, which is really interesting.

Goodreads synopsis:  Denise Hamilton, whose phenomenal debut, "The Jasmine Trade, " was an Edgar Award finalist that Michael Connelly hailed as gripping...intriguing...more than a good crime novel," brings back her tenacious heroine, Eve Diamond, in an electrifying new novel of suspense.When a distraught father breaks past security to beg for her help, "Los Angeles Times" reporter Eve Diamond can't refuse. His daughter, caught up in the rough "squatter" lifestyle, is missing -- and Eve, sensing a scoop, wants to know why a privileged teen from Pasadena would hook up with the dregs of Hollywood. When the girl is found dead, Eve suspects there is more going on than the tragic death of a rebellious youth.
     The search for answers will take Eve from the street world of drugs and sex to the upper echelon of L.A. society -- who don't appreciate her digging up their dirt. Even as Eve fights against the powers-that-be who want her off the story, she finds herself mixing business and pleasure when she's irresistibly drawn to the brooding son of a Mexican music titan. For it is in his world -- and in the intricate sugar skulls that mark the Mexican "Day of the Dead" -- that Eve may find the key to unmasking a killer....

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