Desperado: A Mile High Noir

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Overview

Gus Corral can't quite believe it when an old high school buddy he hasn't seen in years asks him for help. Artie Baca looks as cool as ever; the hippest guy in high school now looks like a GQ cover boy, Chicano style. And like always, Artie has women problems, even though he's married. He's being blackmailed because of an imprudent fling—caught on video, of course. Artie has a prosperous real estate business and can afford to pay off the young girl, but he'll reward Gus handsomely for his help in convincing her ...
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Desperado: A Mile High Noir

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Overview

Gus Corral can't quite believe it when an old high school buddy he hasn't seen in years asks him for help. Artie Baca looks as cool as ever; the hippest guy in high school now looks like a GQ cover boy, Chicano style. And like always, Artie has women problems, even though he's married. He's being blackmailed because of an imprudent fling—caught on video, of course. Artie has a prosperous real estate business and can afford to pay off the young girl, but he'll reward Gus handsomely for his help in convincing her that there won't be any future payments.

Gus's life hasn't been as successful; he manages his ex-wife's second hand shop after losing his job in the recession and claims to also work as the night watchman so he can live there too. He can really use the money Artie is offering and agrees to help, even though he knows Artie probably deserves the shake down.

But before Gus can deliver the money, Artie is dead and the police want to know why the deceased was carrying a check made out to his old high school chum. And when an armed stranger breaks into the shop in the dead of night, Gus knows there's more to the situation than meets the eye. An investigation into Artie's involvement in the gentrification of Denver's north side leads to harrowing encounters with dangerous criminals, both from the area and south of the border. Suddenly Gus is ensnared in the theft of one of the most revered religious symbols in the Catholic Latino world, a cloak bearing the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe. He's caught between warring gangs, and soon he and the people he cares about most are in a life-and-death predicament.

Manuel Ramos returns to novel-length crime fiction with this gripping story that twists and turns like a roller coaster, where the outlook is grim and there's no honor among thieves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chacon, winner of the 2007 Hudson Prize for Unending Rooms, returns with a collection of short fiction concerned with American and Mexican relations in which a world of race and identity politics emerges. Linked but never repetitive, these beautiful stories are fresh, with just enough Borges-ian magic to make them feel extraordinary. The specter of Juarez's problems is at the forefront, and Chacon references everything from fascist dictators to Harold and the Purple Crayon. Some characters spill into other stories, others vanish without resolution. A library in "Birds" becomes the entire world for a couple that doesn't know each other's names, and Joseph, a recurring figure, buys a book of poetry to take on the feminine voice as protection in Juarez, where drug dealers, as in the story "14", appear in the guise of old men interested in tortas. The young girl in "Tasty Chicken" is afraid that glitter will infect her, while in "Sabado Gigante", Bruno, despite his large size, is more interested in playing with dolls than playing sports. From drug trafficking to murdered and missing women, Chacon addresses major issues without feeling preachy or heavy-handed. The stories are rooms, images that you can walk into, taking the reader to wherever Chacon wants him to go. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558857704
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2013
  • Sales rank: 829,718
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2013

    The author magnificently weaves a believable story line through

    The author magnificently weaves a believable story line through carefully reported time and place and culture. The characters are human and edgy and ruthless. Well worth reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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