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Who Sings to the Dead? (Sendero Mysteries Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 331 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I loved this book as much as the first. It had suspense, history, excellent characterizations, and...humanity. I think that's the word I'm looking for. It had a slightly different feel than Sendero, but I liked seeing how Nina's caring side expressed itself as she searched for a child of the street who'd been abducted.
Mr. Tomlinson writes excellent descriptive passages that let you feel like you're right there in the jungle or in the city for Holy Week. It's all quite vivid, even the nastiness.
There is reliably going to be a lot of nastiness in Nina Flores's universe. Her experiences and reality are very different from those of the American reader. That's one of the things I like best about the novels -- the characters think and act like real people who have lived through a dirty war and survived under a corrupt government and are now just trying to make their way -- they aren't just thinly disguised Americans dropped into a Peruvian setting or stereotypes of "native people" found in many action/thriller novels.
Highly recommended. You could read it standalone and enjoy it, but I expect you'll want to read Sendero after you do, so buy them both at once :-)
Update 4/11/2014: Woohoo! It's on sale today, so I now own it instead of just having borrowed it. I have plans to read through all of the series again at some point, so it's great to have my own copy.
Tomlinson's prose is meticulous and efficient. He flexes his literary muscles throughout the story with descriptions like, "His stubble gave him a foolish air, like an urbanite playing bohemian."
His mastery of Peruvian locales, culture, and history would almost have you believe he grew up there. He reveals the Peru torn by violence in the past and demonstrates how war leaves lingering scars for generations.
Tomlinson also enlightens the reader to the plight of the indigenous peoples of Peru, who are still discriminated against and languish in poverty almost as desperately as they did in colonial times.
Nina Flores, an `indian,' escapes this fate and is driven to make a difference in the world around her. She's tough, but likeable, and even though she deals with some very dangerous and undesirable people, she's never condescending or judgmental to those who grew up on the wrong side of the street. Her personality is more that of an overbearing, yet concerned older sister.
I've been in Latin America for nine years and live among the indigenous people here. The girls marry in their early teens and rarely ever leave their tiny hovels. Their only option in life is to hope they end up with a man who won't drink too much and will take care of them and their children.
I think Max Tomlinson's heroine would be an empowering role model for young Latin American women, especially indigenous girls. If only they had a way to get their hands on this book.
In addition to the historical and societal points, the book features suspenseful, romantic, and comic elements that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.