His psyche still reeling from having to kill a criminal in the line of duty, Calgary's Detective Lane flies to Cuba to celebrate the wedding of his beloved niece. While there, though, he finds himself drafted by the local police into investigating the murder of a Canadian tourist.
Upon his return to Calgary, links between this incident and the deaths of local elderly pensioners start to make themselves known, drawing Lane and his partner Nigel Li further into a web of conspiracy, politics and big money.
Garry Ryan's award-winning, best-selling mystery series continues with all the intrigue, good humour and mochaccinos that fans have come to expect.
Saturday, June 15
Lane kept his elbows tucked against his rib cage. Arthur looked out the window on one side. An Acadian oil-rig worker sat on the other side of Lane. His biceps were thigh sized and he weighed at least three hundred pounds. Across the aisle from them, Christine sat with Indiana on her lap. Dan looked out the window where the world was white cloud below and blue sky above. Matt slept open mouthed and snored. The jet engines were a constantly reassuring hum.
Lyle, the mountain, pushed back his Flames ball cap and asked, "Your buddy there said you were going to a wedding?"
"Yes, our niece is getting married." Lane looked to his right and up. At six feet, he was dwarfed by Lyle.
"They love Canadians in Cuba. I got married down here. My wife works on one of the resorts."
"I think we're at Iberostar."
Lyle nodded, then shifted his weight. Lane's seat bounced forward and back. Lyle said, "I hope my dog is okay."
"Riley. He's a boxer. Purebred." Lyle pointed at the floor. "He's riding below. The vet gave me some pills so he'd relax. Just hope he slept. He's kind of hyper."
"How did you manage to be born in Acadia, work in Alberta and marry a Cuban?"
Lyle smiled. "Came out west for a job. Ended up working on the rigs. Worked on the rigs down here. Met Antonia. Took a winter vacation down here, then came back for a few more visits." Lyle held up five fingers. "Bought a house. Her family thinks they've won the lottery because Antonia and I got married. Cubans love Canadians. They don't think much of the Russians and even less of Americans." He poked Lane with a forefinger. "Make sure you tip the people who work at the resort. They work damned hard for very low wages, you know."
"I'll remember that."
"Hey, by the way, what happened to your ear?" Lyle grabbed his own earlobe with a beefy right hand and pointed at Lane's.
Lane lifted his chin. "I went on a domestic disturbance call. The husband was drunk and he was a biter."
"You're a cop?" Lyle looked sideways at Lane, then at Arthur.
Lyle nodded. "You'll be safe in Cuba. The police here do a pretty good job of keeping the tourists safe and happy."
"Good to know."
"Cuba will teach you some new things. It's not the place you've been told about in the media. It's going to delight and disappoint you. It's one of those places you have to see for yourself and make up your own mind about." Lyle closed his mouth, reached into a bag, pulled out a magazine and began to read.
An hour later the jet began its descent to Cuba's Varadero airport. Lane swallowed to equalize the pressure in his ears. Indiana sucked on a bottle of milk with one hand overtop the glass and watched his mother. Out of the corner of his right eye Lane saw a woman studying him. She sat in the aisle seat behind Christine. The woman looked to be in her fifties with short-cut blonde hair. Her eyes were violet and vaguely familiar. Lane began to study her as she leaned forward in her seat. A smile played on her lips. She nodded at him, then turned when the young woman sitting next to her asked a question.
"Strong characters and far-flung settings propel Matanzas, the ninth novel in Garry Ryan's groundbreaking Inspector Lane series. Ryan takes Lane and his cast of well-drawn supporting characters from Cuba to Calgary, in a breakneck chase to stop a malicious and truly memorable villain. Matanzas is Ryan's best to date!"
~Sam Wiebe, author of Last of the Independents and Invisible Dead
"A riveting conspiracy! Ryan writes with elegance and intelligence about genuine characters struggling with complex relationships and emotions. Matanzas is a powerful story of greed and the damage it causes, leavened with affection and humour that will keep readers captivated from Cuba to Canada."
~Kristina Stanley, bestselling author of The Stone Mountain Mysteries