A NovelBook - 2000
Tough New York City detective Paul Devlin -- the hero of William Heffernan's acclaimed Edgar Award-winning series -- has been in tight spots before. But now he faces a devastating reckoning on dangerously unfamiliar ground: a depressed, would-be tropical paradise shrouded in fear, superstition, and lethal mystery ninety miles off the Florida coast.Red Angel
Death threats from the capos of New York's top mob families don't faze Devlin in the slightest. But anyone who brings grief to the people he loves is going to have to pay big-time. That's why Devlin's accompanying Adrianna Mendez -- the beautiful artist who's the lady of his heart -- to the forbidden Communist-controlled isle of Cuba, where Adrianna's aunt Maria has met with a serious "accident. "
A selfless healer and great hero of Castro's revolution, Dr. Maria Mendez was revered throughout the island as Angel Rojo, the "Red Angel." Responding to information that the beloved national icon was critically injured in a car wreck, Devlin and Adrianna arrive in Havana only to learn from local policeman Major Arnaldo Martinez that the Angel has died. But the news gets worse still. Her body, burned beyond recognition, has vanished -- apparently stolen by members of the powerful, bloodthirsty voodoo sect known as the Abakua, who intend to use parts of the great lady's corpse in a dark religious ritual.
Summoning his graceless, brutally efficient right-hand man, Ollie Pitts, from the States to aid him in the investigation, Devlin sets out to unravel the secret behind the Red Angel's death and to recover her body for burial before it can be further desecrated.
In an enigmatic island world of perilous contradictions, Devlin and Pitts are sharks out of water, running afoul of a murderous high-level secret policeman, as well as fearsome palero "witch doctors" and their blood-chillingly potent black magic. And suddenly Devlin is being pulled deeper and deeper into a tangled net of greed, terror, and corruption, where his legendary street sense may not be enough to keep him breathing -- especially when a particularly lethal viper is thrown into the mix: a vengeful madman with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of killers in his pocket, who has come to Cuba to watch Paul Devlin die.