The Killing of the Saints

The Killing of the Saints

by Alex Abella
     
 

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Charlie Morell, a court-appointed private investigator, is compelled to take on the case of two Cuban "marielitos" - followers of the voodoo-like santer�a cult - accused of a particularly vicious massacre in a downtown Los Angeles jewelry store. But Charlie is himself Cuban, hiding in the City of Angels away from his own guilty secrets - just another faceless

Overview

Charlie Morell, a court-appointed private investigator, is compelled to take on the case of two Cuban "marielitos" - followers of the voodoo-like santer�a cult - accused of a particularly vicious massacre in a downtown Los Angeles jewelry store. But Charlie is himself Cuban, hiding in the City of Angels away from his own guilty secrets - just another faceless detective.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A splendid ethnic setting, the Cuban section of Los Angeles, enriches this atmospheric thriller, which is augmented by Hispanic expressions, scenes of witchcraft and courtroom procedures. Court-appointed investigator Charlie Morell is assigned the case of Cuban refugee Ramon Valdez, accused of killing hostages during a jewelry store heist. Valdez claims that one of the gods of his voodoo-like religion, Santeria , compelled him to commit the murders. His search for leads and witnesses forces the Cuban-American Morell to examine why, as a young man, he left his parents and, later, his wife and child. He succumbs to the charms of beautiful Lucinda, an ``acquaintance'' of Valdez. Acting as his own attorney, Valdez is declared incompetent by the court and Morell, who once practiced law in Miami, is reassigned as his counsel. A miscarriage of justice leads to a confrontation involving Valdez, Lucinda and Morell, which makes for exciting reading. The unabashedly theatrical ending is a bit excessive, but will leave readers shaken. Film rights optioned by Paramount. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Latin American magical realism makes further inroads into mainstream American fiction with this unusual courtroom thriller set in the milieu of the Los Angeles Cuban refugee community of practitioners of the Santeria cult. The book centers on the murder trial of two cult members who are charged with murdering six people in the course of robbing a jewelry store. The narrator, himself a Cuban with a tormented past, is appointed by the court as an investigator for one of the defendants. Rich in gritty local detail, exemplified by a wonderful series of graffiti that runs through the entire book, Abella's book joins Madison Smartt Bell's The Washington Square Ensemble ( LJ 2/15/83), among others, in the ranks of excellent novels exploring the refugee experience and the fringes of religiosity. A worthwhile purchase for general fiction collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/91.--David Dodd, Benicia P.L., Cal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940000827246
Publisher:
Alex Abella
Publication date:
02/28/2010
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
429,358
File size:
326 KB

Meet the Author

A New York Times Notable Book author, Emmy-nominated TV reporter and screenwriter, Alex Abella is the author of Soldiers of Reason: The Rand Corporation and the American Empire, a study of the world's most influential think tank, published by Harcourt. Alex was the first journalist to have full access to RAND's files in Santa Monica, California.Abella's non-fiction work includes Shadow Enemies, a non-fiction account of a plot by Adolf Hitler to start a wave of terror and destruction in the United States.Born in Cuba, Alex migrated with his family to the United States at age 10. Alex grew up in New York City, winning a Pulitzer Scholarship to Columbia University. Moving to California, Alex joined The San Francisco Chronicle as a general assignment reporter. Later Alex switched to electronic media and was hired at KTVU-TV, Channel 2 News, where he became producer, writer and reporter and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Breaking News Story.Alex moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s to pursue a writing career. While in Los Angeles he worked as assistant to a private investigator and as a Los Angeles Superior Court interpreter. His experiences inspired him to write a legal thriller, The Killing of the Saints, featuring a Cuban-American hero, Charlie Morell, who's a lawyer and private investigator. The novel, published by Crown in 1991, was a New York Times Notable Book. Paramount Pictures optioned The Killing of the Saints and commissioned Alex to write the screenplay.Alex's second novel, The Great American, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1997. The Great American recounts the true adventures of William Morgan, a U.S. Marine who fought in the mountains of Cuba with Fidel Castro. The sequels to The Killing of the Saints, Dead of Night and Final Acts, were published in quick succession. The trilogy has won praise from critics and prominent writers such as Michael Connelly, T. Jefferson Parker and Robert Ferrigno.Alex is married and lives with his wife and children in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

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