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Lonesome Point Hardcover – June 9, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The revelation of a damaging old secret threatens two Florida brothers in Vasquez's dull tale of corruption. Leo Varela ekes out a living as a mental health technician in a Miami hospital, sneaking out for a marijuana break whenever he can and writing poetry on the side. His older brother, Patrick, is a powerful county commissioner in the midst of a cutthroat mayoral campaign. When an old friend approaches Leo about letting a certain patient disappear from the psych ward, Leo doesn't want to get involved. But it soon becomes clear that he doesn't have a choice, since the men behind the request know the long-held secret Leo and Patrick have kept concerning the violent death of a prominent man in their native Belize. Now Leo's life is in danger, and he starts to wonder how far Patrick will go to protect his political career. Vasquez (In the Heat) starts off strong, but soon stumbles with stilted dialogue and a paper-thin plot. The ending is neither surprising nor satisfying. (June)
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From Booklist

Moving beyond the conventions of the hard-boiled detective story, which he put to such good use in his debut, In the Heat (2008), Vasquez delivers a noir-style story line in which a regular guy, albeit one with a secret, finds his past rearing up to grasp him in a stranglehold. An immigrant from Belize (where In the Heat was set), Leo Varela is a wannabe-poet, working nights in a Miami psychiatric ward, when Freddy Robinson, a small-time grifter from back home, strolls into his life with a proposition: help him kidnap one of the patients in the ward or face up to what happened at Lonesome Point, where the lives of Leo and his brother, Patrick, now a rising Miami politician, were forever altered. Leo and his girlfriend, Tessa, have a plan to free themselves from Patrick, Freddy, and the memory of Lonesome Point, but inevitably it all goes bad, as such plans must. Vasquez builds our sympathy for Leo and Tessa skillfully, adds a Quentin Tarantino–like supporting cast, and tightens the noose exquisitely, finishing with a nicely ambiguous ending. Expect much more from Vasquez, whose star continues to rise. --Bill Ott

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312378106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312378103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,871,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Scribbling poetry and toking on a joint, Leo Varela has few expectations in his life other than a nowhere job as a mental health tech at Jefferson Memorial Hospital for indigents and a pregnant girlfriend who makes him happy. The past is left behind, dead and buried at Lonesome Point in Belize, where brothers Patrick and Leo grew up in the shadow of Ivan Varela's shady used car dealership. Now Patrick is Miami-Dade County Commissioner and considering a run for mayor. The two brothers couldn't be more different and both are content with the distance that defines their relationship.

Unfortunately the past arrives at Leo's job in the person of Freddy Robinson, a former acquaintance in Belize and ex-con who harbors no affection for Patrick, his attorney. Accompanied by his muscle, Freddy has a job for Leo that involves one of the patents on Leo's ward. No explanations, just demands. And threats, very painful threats. Hoping to escape in a comfortable marijuana haze with the least resistance, Leo balks, unwilling to be a pawn to the past, his brother's ambitions or Freddy's boss's demands.

Leo is the perfect protagonist in an escalating tale of violence, an easy going soul forced to reassess the direction of his life and his commitment to the future. Vasquez takes charge from the first page in a compelling thriller that is part noir and part gutsy writing, Leo tapping into an inner strength that has thus far eluded him. It's all there in the dialog, Freddy's not-so-subtle maneuvers, Leo's frustrating exchanges with Patrick, and the irrevocable actions of one dark night at Lonesome Point in Belize. Surrounded by shuffling patients on the night ward and coworkers as unhinged as their charges, Leo has few options, but refuses to submit to his fate in a mad rush to evade Freddy that ends in a shocking, satisfying denouement. Fresh and deliberate, Vasquez is a writer to watch. Luan Gaines/2009.
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Format: Hardcover
Leo Valera works the night shift on a psychiatric ward but his real passion is poetry. Leo's brother Patrick is commissioner for Miami-Dade County with plans to run for mayor in the upcoming election. The two brothers are polar opposites: Leo is lackadaisical and prefers to spend time smoking pot and composing poems while Patrick is aggressive and ambitious and will do anything to accomplish his goals. Leo's girlfriend is pregnant and he knows he needs to do something more with his life but isn't motivated. Patrick, married to Leo's former girlfriend, is as content as Leo to keep their relationship at a distance. Both brothers share one thing in common: escaping the vile secrets from their past which will undo them if revealed. When Freddie Robinson, a friend from their childhood, shows up where Leo works and tries to coerce Leo into releasing one of the patients, Leo reaches out to his brother for help, not realizing this is the first step for the two brothers in a sequence of events leading them back to their past and the demons they have tried to elude.

Ian Vasquez writes with an interesting style, drawing the reader in with his flowing cadence wrapped around a fast-paced plot filled with mystery and suspense. Character development is superb. Leo, the quintessential underachiever, is forced to take a serious look at his life and choose whether to remain uninvolved or become the man he should have been. Patrick's true character is revealed when he is confronted with having to decide what matters most: family or career. Dialogue stands out, especially with the secondary characters, who add an extra dimension to this engaging thriller.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Creatures from the Belize Lagoon:
Noir Mysteries from an Emerging New Belizean Talent

Reviews of Ian Vasquez' In the Heat and Lonesome Point


An important new talent has emerged out of the sands, swamps and condos of Florida, bringing a Belizean edge to crime novels some are calling Caribbean Noir.

Ian Vasquez, who was raised in Belize and now lives in the Tampa Bay area, where he is a copy editor at the St. Petersburg Times, has published two novels, In the Heat in 2008 and Lonesome Point in 2009. A third, Mr. Hooligan, is set for publication in summer 2010.

In the Heat is set entirely in Belize, mostly in Belize City with some of the action taking place at a jungle lodge in Cayo. Miles Young, an aging boxer coming off a loss of a bout at Bird's Isle, is hired to find the run-away 17-year-old daughter of Isabelle Gilmore, a wealthy, Caribbean Shores matron. The girl has taken a gob of mom's ill-gotten cash and is with the son of a former Belize police chief, now a well-connected owner of a Belize City security company. Soon, Miles is caught up in a tangled web of murder, corruption and money laundering. "Man, Belize was going to hell in a hand basket," says Manny, a shady boxing promoter.

Vasquez' second novel, Lonesome Point, takes place in Miami and Tampa, with flashbacks to Belize. Two Belizean brothers, Leo and Patrick Varela, though still bound together by a deadly family secret of their youth in Belize City, have drifted apart since they moved to South Florida. Patrick is a successful attorney and Miami-Dade County commissioner, with a beautiful home and trophy family in Biscayne Bay, while Leo is a would-be poet and night shift worker on a dead-end job in a hospital psych ward.
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