Rio Street Kid Stargazer by Craig S. Wilson is volume one of what promises to be some rollicking good reading in the Rio Crime Thriller Series. Lucas Rocha and his sisters are left to fend for themselves after their beloved mother's death. Living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro makes this a hard fate. The streets are ruled by drug lords and riddled with corrupt police and gangs. There seems to be no easy way out of becoming another crime statistic.
When Lucas happens upon Daniel Burke - in rather questionable circumstances - both lives become inextricably entwined, and despite their diverse backgrounds they become dependent upon each other. Lucas agrees to a pact with drug lord Dez, convinced that it is his only chance to escape the poverty he and his sisters, Inez and Fernanda, endure. Deals are made and broken; lives are ended and forever changed. Daniel discovers where and how his childhood took him to America, while Lucas finds an ally in the form of Dez' wife Julia - who is not quite what she appears to be.
All these lives are melded together beautifully as the story progresses. Craig Wilson winds their lives, hopes, and dreams into a strongly worded, thrilling tale of despair, murder, and corruption. Despite the strong language, I found this to be a book I could not easily put down. It is exciting and shocking, intermingled with charm in the character and hopes of Lucas, whose one desire is to provide the best for his younger sisters. Good story set in Rio. I look forward to volume two.