Friday, October 2, 2015

Forgiving Mariela Camacho - A.J. Sidransky

Forgiving Mariela Camacho
A.J. Sidransky
Berwick Court, Sep 30 2015, $16.95
ISBN 9780990951568

In 2010, while waiting for his nine-month pregnant wife Karin’s call that the time is now, NYPD Detective Tolya Kurchenko and his partner Pete Gonzalvez head to a luxurious apartment building in Washington Heights where the super called in a concern.  The two cops break down the apartment door of a single woman.  The overwhelming smell leads them to a female’s posed corpse.  Pete collapses when he recognizes the victim, as Mariela Camacho who remains the love of his life though he married someone else.

In spite of a suicide note and the medical examiner’s contention; Pete adamantly insists Mariela would never slice her throat; other evidence surfaces that supports his assertion.  Grieving Pete thinks back to the Dominican Republic when he was a teen whose parents died. Tio Polito took Pete in and raised him along with Mariela and two other girls.  However Pete also knows Polito’s business interests are deadly illegal, but when he and Tolya find evidence of an international serial killer both fear for Karin as the Jewish Heritage Museum chief curator seems lost likely next.

A. J. Sidransky refreshes his overarching Forgiving Maximo Rothman premise of connecting a current Washington Heights police investigation with Judaism thriving and welcomed in the 1940s Dominican Republic compared with ugly suppression by Soviet Russia.  The main characters are three-dimensional and the rotating subplots superb.  We fans will never forgive Mr. Sidransky if he fails to bring back Kurchenko and Gonzalvez for a third Upper Manhattan investigation.

Harriet Klausner

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