Partners in Crime: A Rafe Buenrostro Mystery
Rolando Hinojosa. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2011. 247 pp. $16.95. 978-1-55885-741-4
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
by: Reviewed by Ida D. McGhee

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Ida D. McGhee,Hartford (Connecticut) Public Library

Lieutenant Detective Rafe Buenrostro is back!  Hinojosa introduced this well known character in his Klail City Death Trip series about life in Texas along the Mexican border.  In this novel, the action takes place in 1982 and revolves around his investigation into several brutal murders in the fictitious Lower Rio Grande Valley.  The first dead body is found in the middle of a cotton field.  Later, a gruesome scene at the local inn finds three men, one a member of the police department, that have been murdered execution style.  With the witnesses and clues from this killing spree, Buenrostro, working in close collaboration with the Mexican police, should solve these cases easily.
The novel suffers somewhat from so many eccentric Mexican American and Anglo characters sprinkled throughout the plot as it unwinds and thickens, ranging from fast moving and engaging to slow and plodding.  At times lyrical, the story is wordy and reads in a somewhat choppy way.  Readers may become frustrated trying to keep up.  The novel was first published in 1985 before the prevalence of crime scene investigation television shows and DNA evidence. However, Hinojosa ably implements the classic elements that make Partners in Crime a thriller that will appeal to readers of mysteries and suspense.
Hinojosa has written numerous novels, poetry and essays.  He is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial professor in Creative Writing in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Purchase where needed for Chicano and Latino collections

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