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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Spanning the years from 1935 to 1959, Edgar-finalist McDonald's second novel to feature crime novelist Hector Lassiter (after 2007's Head Games) deftly mixes myth, history and a serial killer who arranges dead bodies to resemble surrealistic art. Lassiter, whose work embodies the "write what you live and live what you write" ethos, loves hard, drinks hard and keeps an eye on avenging the loss of the beautiful blonde he meets in a Key West bar on page one. As a popular author, Lassiter interacts with such notables as Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, whom the author skillfully animates. Other celebrities of the day make cameo appearances. Solidly grounded in such actual events as the Key West hurricane of 1935, the Spanish Civil War and Cuba's last days before Castro, McDonald's imaginative tale takes an enjoyably different approach to art and murder. (Sept.)

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Library Journal

Crime writer and ladies' man Hector Lassiter (Head Games) makes a return appearance in McDonald's outstanding second series effort. Spanning over a quarter-century and moving from Miami to Hollywood with stops in Spain and Cuba for a civil war and a revolution, respectively, this novel displays McDonald's storytelling and writing skills. The novel begins during the great Florida hurricane of 1935, when Hec comes to the rescue of a damsel in distress. Quickly falling for her, he is devastated when she turns up as the latest victim of an apparent serial killer. But this is not the end of the story: McDonald is only getting started with a tale involving a serial killer, a dysfunctional family, the world of abstract art, and a supporting cast that includes Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. McDonald wows with his writing, which seems effortless despite using many voices, and his book will keep readers rapt. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Craig Shufelt

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