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Midnight in Havana [Kindle Edition]

Peggy Blair
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £2.29 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

In beautiful, crumbling Old Havana, Canadian detective Mike Ellis hopes the sun and sand will help save his troubled marriage. He doesn't yet know that it's dead in the water - much like the little Cuban boy last seen begging the Canadian couple for a few pesos. For Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, head of the Major Crimes Unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police, finding his prime suspect isn't a problem - Cuban law is. He has only seventy-two hours to secure an indictment and prevent a vicious killer from leaving the island. But Ramirez has his own troubles. He's dying of the same dementia that killed his grandmother, an incurable disease that makes him see the ghosts of victims of unsolved murders. As he races against time, the dead haunt his every step.

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Product Description


'[An] intriguing debut by Canadian lawyer turned crime writer Peggy Blair . . . the fascinating setting serves not just as an excuse for some atmospheric writing, but is also used to great effect to further the plot . . . On my list of top talents to watch for 2014 and beyond' --Marina Sofia, reviewer for Crime Fiction Lover

'All the ingredients of the best detective novels' --Scotland on Sunday

'[A] top notch police procedural [. . .] This book not only excels in its depiction of the place but also in the structure and flow of the plot' --Bookaholic blog

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1492 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon (1 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DAJ7X4Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead Will Come 14 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"the dead will come" so said Inspector Ramirez's grandmother to him when she was dying.

Ricardo Ramirez was 9 years old at the time, now he is a police inspector in Havana & he sees dead people!

Mike Ellis is a Canadian detective on holiday in Havana with his wife....It is the Christmas Holidays...They meet a Cuban boy who is begging, Ellis gives him some pesos ... later the boy is found dead in the harbour.

2 other main characters are - Hector Apiro - the pathologist in the Major Crimes Unit - & - Celia Jones - a Canadian lawyer.

All the characters have their own problems & the shortages in Cuba are just as acute in the police department as everywhere else.

I just loved this book it was gripping and has passion, corruption & danger all mixed in with the mystery of the boy's death. It was so interesting to read especially with the differences in Cuban & Canadian law - (and UK law).

The author is a Canadian lawyer and this book is the first in a series - I have noted that the second book - The Poisoned Pawn - will be published in February 2014 - I cannot wait to read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Midnight in Havana 30 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the first Inspector Ricardo Ramirez mystery and it begins with the death of his grandmother, when he is only nine years old. She passes to him, "my gift to you, as the eldest child." Her gift is the ability to see the dead and, indeed, as the Inspector in charge of the Havana Major Crimes Unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police, Ramirez is constantly followed by the victims of the crimes he is investigating. As well as the dead, Ramirez is aided by his subordinate, Detective Rodriquez Sanchez and pathologist, Hector Apiro.

It is Christmas Eve, 2006, and Mike and Hillary Ellis are on holiday. Mike Ellis is a detective from Canada, who recently suffered a violent facial injury, while his partner was killed. However, the holiday which should have helped heal him, has resulted in his marriage crumbling in recrimination and anger. Hillary hates Cuba and, after a major argument, heads home leaving Mike Ellis alone. When a young boy, seen begging from the couple the day before, is found murdered, Ellis is the prime suspect. In Cuba he has no legal rights and Ramirez is under pressure to complete the investigation within a strict timeline. Can Canadian lawer, Celia Jones, save him from the firing squad?

This is an assured and well written debut. If you enjoy crime stories set in unusual locations, then you will enjoy this. I had only a very sketchy idea of what Cuba is like, having never visited the country. Ramirez is hampered, in both his professional and personal life, by shortages - there are few toys, little petrol, meat, soap, pencils or even crime scene tape available. At one point, there is no possibility of checking something as there are no batteries for the calculator and the internet is banned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an excellent first novel 27 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this and wish the author well. I really feared for the life of poor Mike and wondered how on earth they were going to get him off the clearly fabricated case.
My one criticism is there was too much explanation at the end which, although well written and I read it, was a mark of inexperience I think. Also the epilogue, while an interesting twist, made me think back over the case and made one or two things unravel a bit. Nevertheless I'm looking forward to the next book. Hurry up with the writing of it, Peggy!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start, but a rushed finale 10 July 2013
This opens with the young future Cuban Police Inspector Ricardo Ramirez being blessed - or cursed - by his grandmother on her deathbed, with the ability to see ghosts.
Murder victims - mute and visible only to Ramirez - accompany him as he goes about his business.
His grandmother's dementia was responsible for her "visions" and Ramirez fears he has inherited it. He bears this burden alone, unwilling to share it with anyone, even his beloved wife.
The author takes her time setting the scene; the premise is interesting and she slips in details of the privations suffered by the ordinary Cuban people as a result of American foreign policy. It is clear where her sympathies lie.
There is no humour in this story - nothing alleviates the grinding poverty of the people or the vast differences between their lives and the affluence of the tourists'. To what lengths, therefore, will the children go to earn a few pesos to support their families? This is the reason why Ramirez is investigating the brutal rape and murder of a little Cuban boy, who has been procured for sex.
Having taken her time to set the scene, the author rapidly speeds up the plot progression after the accused's lawyer arrives in Cuba. From this point, things are rushed - as if the author is anxious to realise the denouement; this is a shame and - in my opinion - the book suffers for it.
This is an easy read; the publisher's claims that this is a "literary" crime novel are exaggerated. This is Peggy Blair's debut novel though, and she has talent. I hope she isn't persuaded to speed up production in the hope of writing a bestseller. That would be a real shame.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story well written.
This is a debut novel set in Cuba. Good background information on Cuba, its problems, its poverty. At the age of nine Ramirez inherited from his grandmother the ability to see the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andy O'Boogie
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting devices but a few holes.
It's hard to write in depth about this novel without giving too much away.

The plot is fairly original, as is the device of Ramirez's visions / hallucinations. Read more
Published 8 months ago by El Loro
5.0 out of 5 stars Already Wanting More!
Midnight in Havana by Peggy Blair is one of the best books I have read recently.
I must confess that I had not heard of Blair before reading this but plumped for this book as... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid if unspectacular start to a new series
This is the first of an on-going series featuring the eponymous "Inspector Ramirez".

I certainly enjoyed the background information on Cuba, and the particulars... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Clever Spud
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the book
Great read if you like mafia and have Ben to Havane
Published 11 months ago by wanderer
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Police Procedural in an Unusual Setting
Set in Cuba, Inspector Ramirez has all the usual challenges of an investigating policeman to contend with as well as additional issues including political interference as well as a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Brett H
4.0 out of 5 stars midnight
the dead will come" so said Inspector Ramirez's grandmother to him when she was dying.

Ricardo Ramirez was 9 years old at the time, now he is a police inspector in... Read more
Published 12 months ago by E. Dale
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising first novel.
A fairly standard modern procedural - the unusual but topical locale (Cuba, with its old problems of socialist deprivation and new problems of sex tourism) and the detective... Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. Miles
4.0 out of 5 stars mojitos all round and one for the author too
Here we have another detective who can see the dead. what does this say about life under communism be it in cuba or cambodia. Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is brilliant! For all who live a bit of supernatural ...
I see dead people... and they follow me around!
This book is brilliant! For all who live a bit of supernatural vs crime, two of my favourite genre's and this combines them... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lulu
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