Updated: Dec 2, 2019
" Half a ton of a dead man's gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for years. Leading the pack is Hans-Peter Schneider. Driven by unspeakable appetites, he makes a living fleshing out the violent fantasies of other, richer men. Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before. "
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An ex-child soldier, a violent, hairless man, and a drug lord make up the cast of characters in the Thomas Harris novel, 'Cari Mora.' Mora, our title character, is the ex-child soldier that now lives in Miami, Flordia, where she watches over a deceased drug lord's mansion. This drug lord is the real-life Pablo Escobar.
Written in Harris' crime fiction style, 'Cari Mora' quickly starts with men competing to get to the rumored millions of dollars in gold that is suppose to be at the Escobar mansion. One of these men is a very memorable German character named Hans-Peter Schneider, who readers come to know as someone that is hired to kill/deliver people to rich customers, as well as selling organs on the black market: " He [Schneider] could see his reflection in the glass side of his liquid cremation machine where he was dissolving Karla, a girl who hadn't worked out for business." When Schneider meets Mora, he immediately wants to sell her to a high paying customer.
The novel's main subject is Escobar's hidden gold, but readers also get a glimpse into the underworld of human trafficking and hired thugs. Most interestingly, the story surrounds the dark past of certain characters - - - mostly Mora and Schneider- - - who also happen to be the most put-together characters in all of the novel. All other characters seem to be filler, where most of their stories either don't end or aren't explained. Such as the character Benito, when the reader gets to follow him home, there is a mere snippet about his family life that leaves us wanting more: " Lupe was waiting at Benito's house, in spirit, in the small garden she had made behind Benito's house. He felt her presence warm and close to him as fireflies winked over the white blossoms, luminous under the moon. Benito poured a glass of Flor de Cana for himself and one for her. He drank both of them sitting in the garden with Lupe, and being there together was enough. "
While the treasure hunt is going on, a man named Jesus Villarreal becomes an important character that used to be Escobar's captain- - - and who knows exactly where the gold is hidden; he has not only made a deal with Schneider, but also another drug lord named Don Ernesto- - - if he tells exactly how to get the gold, safely, his wife, son and sister-in-law must be taken care of when he is gone.
This story has twist and turns known in every great crime fiction novel: a woman who is more than what she seems, thugs with guns, dark backstories, and fast-reading action. Yet, the story contains so many characters,even new ones coming in on almost every chapter, that it could be hard for readers to keep in mind who is who, especially with not enough description to tell them apart. Another disappointment is the character named Detective Terry Robles, who had such an amazing story to tell - - - from he and his wife being shot up by druggies to Robles seeking revenge when his wife can't exactly remember who she is,let alone who he is, because of her injury - - - but his story never comes to fruition, and we never get to experience the end of it.
As great as a character Mora is, I personally believe that Schneider would have been a much more interesting view point to read from. The story would have taken on a completely different appeal if the focus had been on strictly him. For instance, one of the most intriguing parts was reading about Schneider's past which may hold the key to why he is who he is : "His parents were in the freezer and he could hear their voices through the door. They could not get out because the freezer door was secured with a chain Hans had tied in an excellent chain knot, the way his father had taught him to tie a chain, shaking the knot until the links jammed tight. "
Although I wish for a different view point, I will say again that Mora is a well-written character - - - her character just becomes flat in certain places- - - but she still makes the story worth reading. Harris did a wonderful job in showing the darker side of life, as he has always done with his Hannibal series. If anyone is a fan of the Netflix show 'Narcos,' or crime fiction surrounding drug lords, they will certainly enjoy this book from beginning to end.
WIN A FREE COPY OF 'CARI MORA' BY THOMAS HARRIS!
As the second contest for Gore and Tea, I have decided to give away a brand new, hardback copy of Thomas Harris' 'Cari Mora.'
If you have already read this new release, this would make a great gift for anyone who loves crime fiction!
I am only giving away ONE copy, so click the link below to be taken to the contest form, and fill it out! The contest is open to all countries, but NO P.O. BOXES,PLEASE!
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