VIPER is another excellent mystery by John Desjarlais. Too often, you read a thriller/mystery and have to wonder if the main character is even human for all the abuse and emotional trauma they live through in the course of a book. The thing I enjoy most about John's books is that he doesn't rely on over-the-top action or heart-clutching angst to get you through a story. Rather, he begins with a strong mystery with believable characters you could expect to find living next door, and he lets the excitement and the emotion flow naturally from the story. The result is a novel that will keep you reading through the end, but not leave you feeling like the characters--and you--need a long vacation on a deserted island just to recover! The Catholic and Hispanic culture, so well researched and deeply infused in the book, add flavor and uniqueness. Definitely worth reading!
(photo at right: Selena De La Cruz, VIPER's protagonist)