- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 3983 KB
- Print Length: 274 pages
- Publisher: AITEpublishing.com (26 Dec. 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004HW6FIS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,402,154 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Missing in Mexico Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Stan Walkorski is a jaded but excellent PI: he's clearly seen too much of the world and its troubles and this has made him a little weary and cynical but conversely has also served to make him excellent at his job. When a young woman disappears in a Mexican airport, Stan has very little to go on, save some patchy information from her parents and best friend. Heading over to Los Cabos is the only way he can get to the heart of the matter.
My knowledge of Spanish, Latin-American or otherwise is basic to say the least but I did enjoy the chapter headers, which consisted of a word, translated and then used in the context of a sentence. For example:
comer (c'·m'r') - to eat. Quiero comer tacos. I want to eat tacos.
This was a quirky but enjoyable take on the theme of using quotations or chapter headings, which again highlighted Gustafson's knowledge and the authenticity of the information used in the novel.
The story gives you the impression that Stan is following a well travelled path that he's encountered many times before, though it never gets any easier. Although Stan gives very little away about himself, his actions often betray his true feelings and it's clear that at heart he is a good man who just wants to see right done in the world. Unfortunately, you also get the impression that in his line of work it's more likely to see flying pigs. Stan displays a heartwarming touch of vulnerability throughout the novel that makes him even more appealing as a central character.
If you'd have asked me previously if I thought a travel writer, turned novelist could produce a convincing `tourism suspense' I'd have probably looked at you in confusion and then assumed you were joking but actually this works well. The old adage "write what you know" comes in to play here and Missing in Mexico is a good combination of intriguing story, likeable protagonist and a convincing, well written setting, based on fact and experience. An excellent debut.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
College students Sarah and Mary spend some time vacationing in Mexico. But when Sarah doesn't get on the plane for home, private investigator Stan Walkorski is hired by Sarah's parents to find out what happened to her.
Racing against the clock, Stan's investigation finds him jaunting between the States and Mexico to uncover clues about Sarah's disappearance. When he receives a mysterious letter claiming to have information, he hopes he's finally gotten a lucky break.
Gustasfson puts his years of travel experience to great use in creating a mystery that takes place between the States and Mexico. Once Sarah has disappeared, Stan is quickly called in to investigate. As a newcomer to Los Cabos, Mexico, the sights, sounds, and food of the area are just as enticing to Stan as the mystery he needs to solve. It is clear as the reader moves through the story, that the author has extensive knowledge of the area. In some ways this is an excellent thing. It gives the reader a strong sense of place as Stan works to find Sarah.
The challenge, however, is that Stan's discovering Mexico almost takes precedence over him finding Sarah. Instead of asking Mary where she and Sarah went while they were in Mexico, Stan and a lady friend he meets on the plane, spend time going business to business to learn if anyone has seen Sarah. Granted, he might want to do some of that anyway, but one would think he would have a game plan put together based upon information from Mary to help speed the process along. Because so much detail about the area is included, the book is overly long, slowing down the pace of what should be a suspense-filled page-turner.
I would also have liked a deeper point of view. The reader only gets to scratch the surface of Stan. I can't say I knew him much better by the end of the book than when I started. The mysteries I enjoy most have a strong male or female lead whose head I can get into. I want to experience everything with them and truly get to know them. Even the relationships Stan develops with women are shallow. The women come into his life, and then they're gone, without a good reason why.
Missing in Mexico's blurb is what encouraged me to review the book. The idea is intriguing. A good editor could have helped mold this promising mystery into an even stronger story. I would be interested in reading the next travel mystery Gustafson is writing to see how he approaches his second novel.
Even though I love to read mysteries I couldn't get ahead of the writing and guess what was going to happen. I had to let it unfold for me just as Stan did. About 2/3 of the way through the book all Stan's snooping paid off and he finally began making significant progress. And what a surprise! Never saw THAT coming. Ditto for the additional surprise at the end of the book.
This is not a fast paced book but the pace mirrors the frustration of Stan. Gustafson seemed to portray the Mexican culture very accurately: the friendly but cautious attitude of the locals, his reserved romantic relationship with a Mexican woman, his beautiful descriptions of several Mexican spots. You can tell Gustafson loves Mexico because occassionally he goes overboard with his descriptions...although they are interesting they don't do anything to advance the plot.
Overall I enjoyed Missing in Mexico and Stan. I wonder, will he return in Stuart's next book that takes place in Australia?
I saw this book as being really three different books: a fun language book where I could practice my Spanish Skills and learn a little more, a travel book where I could learn about Mexico, Los Cabos in particular, and a mystery.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Learn More About Mexico by Reading "Missing in Mexico" by Stuart Gustafson - National Mystery Books | [...]
I spend 6 months a year there so enjoyed the descriptions, even though I think I like Shooters more than the author. Try the coconut shrimp there. For a great strawberry margarita and one I am sure he would love, the Mexicana Restuarant just below the bus depot on Valario Gonzalez makes a killer one. Checked out the author's website and look forward to his next book set in Sydney, Australia, another place I love. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.
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