Forgiving Mariela Camacho: The Review

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

FMC front cover - Hi Res

Have you ever loved someone so deeply that it hurts to be apart from that person?

For veteran NYPD detective Pete Gonzalvez that woman has always been Mariela Camacho. Ever since he first fell madly in love with her as a young man in the Dominican Republic, Mariela has occupied a special place in his heart.

Even though there have been many after her and notwithstanding that he is a married man with children, Pete has an eternal love jones for Mariela. The brief but torrid relationship has left an indelible imprint on his soul and psyche. She was the proverbial one that got away. Mariela is the only woman he gets amargura for when he binge drinks and listens to bachata.

And there she is, lifeless, in some sort of demented death contraption, in an apartment on Wadsworth Avenue in Washington Heights. Called to investigate a possible mortality, Pete is confronted with his worst nightmare.

And we are off. The 2nd book in the Forgiving series by AJ Sidransky is a riveting, no-holds-barred foray into the deepest recesses of the international underworld from Washington Heights to the barrios of Santo Domingo to a seedy neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel and back to the strip clubs of the outer boroughs.

To catch Mariela’s killer, our protagonists, Detective Pete Gonzalvez and his partner Detective Anatoly Kurchenko, will have to contend with the headwinds of history as well as the skeletons in their own respective closets.

Much like Forgiving Maximo Rothman, this novel delves head first into the thorny topics of manhood, brotherhood and fatherhood. Detectives Gonzalvez and Kurchencko, are more than just partners, they are like brothers. That bond will be tested as never before as they race against time, bureaucracy and the past to nab a sadistic sociopath that delights in death and whose wealth and underworld ties have rendered him invisible and untouchable even though he has left a trail of brutally murdered women across the globe in his wake.

Streetwise, savvy and smart, Forgiving Mariela Camacho is an engrossing and intelligent read that takes the reader on a global manhunt that brims with noise, energy and authenticity. It feels real. It is both remarkably sweeping and intimate, simultaneously.

Mr. Sidransky deftly creates narratives, characters and dialogue that exude genuineness and are a testament to his prodigious powers of cultural observation and storytelling. That he is also a student of history is evident in the rich social, historical and cultural milieus he concocts in his work. Forgiving Mariela Camacho is a worthy follow up from an author who weaves tales that practically pulsate with grit, gravitas and intensity.

Can’t wait to read what he conjures up next…


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