Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Missing in Precinct Puerto Rico by Steven Torres (2006)

In his fourth Precinct Puerto Rico outing, Steven Torres offers us a difficult and disturbing novel about child endangerment.  In the quiet mountain town of Angustias children are disappearing.  First a young boy vanishes in the night and Sheriff Luis Gonzalo thinks the boy has run away after being disciplined by his father.  But then a young girl goes missing.  Another girl in a nearby town is brutally murdered and her body is thrown on a roadside, along with her bewildered brother -- the work of an infamous terrorist group.  When a six-year-old boy is kidnapped from an elementary school, Gonzalo and his deputies must figure out who is targeting children.  And how is the murder of an eighty-year-old woman connected to the disappearances?

     The mysteries tear apart the small police force as its members deal with their own feelings of rage and guilt even as they uncover a dangerous pattern of jealousy, paranoia, religious intolerance, sexual tension, violence, and pedophilia.  Marred only by the coincidence of timing, Missing in Precinct Puerto Rico presents a thrilling tale of flawed personalities and a parent's wort nightmare.  As usual, Torres peoples his novel with believable characters who make the rural setting come alive.  Steven Torres has another winner here.

     Recommended with the understanding that some of the themes in the book can be disturbing.

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