Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Night of the Jaguar: A Novel by Joe Gannon

  • File Size: 996 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250048028
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (September 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English

Book Description

 In Joe Gannon's debut novel, Night of the Jaguar, a former Sandinista guerrilla comandante turned cop investigates a series of murders that appear to be political executions.

Sandinista Police Captain Ajax Montoya is six days sober and losing his mind.  How else to explain his nights waking in bed, his hand wrapped around that bloody-minded stiletto from the old days, or the presence outside his window, a face with no eyes watching him?

How far the heroic have fallen.  Ajax was once the gallant comandante guerrillero. A hero of the Nicaraguan revolutionaries in their long uprising against the Ogre and his hated National Guard.  Back then he’d been the guy who got the bloody missions -- as a lowly grunt with that blade, or the commander of an entire front.  Back then he knew what was what and who to trust. But as the clarity of war gave way to the hazy reality of peace, Ajax fared less well. And after he took the fall for an assassination he had no part of, he tumbled into a bottle, and maybe out of his mind.

Now he's a homicide investigator in Managua solving murders and sweating through the nightmares from his guerilla days. When he's called to investigate a robbery turned gruesome murder, Ajax recognizes the marks of a surprising enemy - the CIA mercenary army known as The Contra.  This isn't just a random murder; this is an execution, a call to war. Or is it?  And why does no one want to know but Ajax? As the bodies pile up and a red-headed gringa who should be his enemy enchants his thoughts, Ajax questions whether he can stay sober, sane, and alive long enough to figure it all out.

About the Author

 JOE GANNON, writer and spoken word artist, was a freelance journalist in Nicaragua during the Sandinista Revolution, writing for The Christian Science Monitor, The Toronto Globe and Mail, and the San Francisco Examiner. He spent three years in the army, graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and did his MFA at Pine Manor College.  After a stint teaching high school in Abu Dhabi, he is now working on his second novel.

My Review

What an amazing setting and time period for a thriller! Do you remember the news being filled with stories during the 1970s and 1980s from Nicaragua, Managua, and the Sandinistas? I do. And author Joe Gannon was right there in the thick of things as a journalist in the 1980s. This is Joe Gannon's first novel and he has brilliantly capitalized on his experiences in Nicaragua to write this thriller.

Haunted by his past, Sandinista Police Captain Ajax Montoya spends his days fighting crime and solving mysteries. What was clear cut in the past during the Revolution is now hazy. The latest murder he is investigating seems to bear the mark of a CIA mercenary army - the Contra. Is this really happening....

Great story...fascinating to go back into recent history...Nicaragua in the 1980s. This will be a refreshing read for many as its setting is fairly unique. Lots of plot twists to keep the reader entranced.  Fascinating political thriller. Perfect for fans of James Lee Burke.

Read an excerpt here:

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