- On Sale: February 03, 2015
- Pages: 188
- Published by: Alibi
In Richard H. Weber’s passionate new thriller, a smoldering mystery ignites on a tropical island as lust, murder, and politics collide.
San Iñigo is a jewel of the Caribbean, a playground paradise for the foreign elite, a hell for unfortunate locals. For recent Princeton grad Dan Shedrick, San Iñigo promises the fulfillment of too many desires.
Dan hires on at a powerful American firm as a junior architect, but still finds time for tennis, booze, a reckless affair with the sexy wife of a resort owner—even a bit of reconnaissance for the U.S. cultural attaché. But soon he discovers that nothing on San Iñigo is without consequence. When a much-loved local radio personality is found on a beach with his head blown off, Dan’s lover becomes a suspect. And not long after his foray into espionage, he’s dragged away on a brutal journey into the heart of darkness.
Buffeted by aggression, depraved ritual, and personal betrayal, Dan discovers fierce truths about San Iñigo . . . and himself. In the island’s forbidding mountain jungle, his life goes up in flames—a deadly inferno that will forever change him, if he survives at all.
Buy, read, and discuss In Flames
About Richard Hilary Weber
Richard Hilary Weber, a native of Brooklyn and a Columbia University graduate, has taught at the universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, and has been a scriptwriter for French and Swedish filmmakers. He lives in Provence, France.
In Flames is labeled as a thriller, but while it was definitely a crime story, albeit on specific to certain parts of Latin America, I wouldn’t classify it as a thriller myself. Mostly this is because the story was fairly predictable. As soon as Dan arrives in San Iñigo and begins talking about the levels of crime, you know he’s going to end up getting involved.
As well, I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. Dan immediately falls into a pattern of boozing after work, and we never really see redeemable qualities in him. Erica, the wife of the Saint Ignatius Club owner, is treated more like an object than a person, and Ferg, the actual owner is only seen in small bits – we never really get to know him.
The locals aren’t treated any better. Vinny, who apparently has connections with everyone, seems more annoying than connected. The fortune teller could be interesting, but she isn’t really given the opportunity to be.
If it seems like I’m shredding this book, please understand: it’s not a bad read if you suspend disbelief at the door. There are, in fact, some things the author does really well. For example, the life of alcoholic semi-somnolence that many expats fall into is one I’ve witnessed in my visits to expat communities on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and he captures this brilliantly.
Similarly, the Club felt very real to me, with its perceived separation from the ‘locals’ and the ability to allow its patrons to act as though they’re in a remote part of Florida rather than a foreign country.
Erica’s clipboard and apparent focus on running her business seemed drawn from real life as well, in the best way possible.
Author Weber has a knack for description, but, to me, In Flames felt more like a choking campfire than a conflagration of suspense and intrigue, and I’m sorry about that, because Alibi’s offerings are usually incredibly well written, entertaining works of fiction.
I don’t want to say this book was BAD, more that…it’s a somewhat disappointing first effort from an author who has a voice but needs polish it a bit more.
Goes well with Carnitas and any rum-based tropical drink.
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This review is part of a blog tour organized by TLC Book Tours. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE.
Monday, February 2nd: Life is Story
Wednesday, February 4th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, February 5th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, February 9th: Booked on a Feeling
Tuesday, February 10th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, February 12th: Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, February 17th: Read and Shelved
Thursday, February 19th: Reading Reality
Monday, February 23rd: Book Nerd
Tuesday, February 24th: Rhodes Review
Thursday, February 26th: Bibliotica
Monday, March 2nd: It’s a Mad Mad World
Thursday, March 5th: Patricia’s Wisdom