BOOK REVIEW: SUNSTROKE
Thirty-six years old Los Angeles secretary Gloria Mendez has been in love with her boss, novelty import business mogul, Carl Perreira, for years though she accepts it is unrequited so she hides her deep regard from him as he has not shown any sexual interest in her. Carl goes on vacation in Mexico. Following a relatively minor earthquake, Gloria listens to a strange jumbled message that Carl left on her answering machine. She tries to follow-up as Carl apparently has disappeared somewhere in Mexico's backcountry. Gloria tries LAPD, who dispatch her to the Tijuana cops, but neither departments show the slightest interest in the case.
Not soon afterward, Gloria learns that Carl allegedly died in a car crash inferno. Devastated by her loss, Gloria travels to Mexico to bring Carl’s remains home for burial. However, even that simple kind gesture proves difficult and dangerous starting with when she meets a young man claiming to be Carlos Perreira, son of her Carl and others who assume she is either a partner or lover with insider information on the activities of a man she thought she knew.
Gloria is the center of this fine cerebral mystery in which much of the action is inferred until near the end. Though not a particularly courageous individual, the heroine shows her mettle when she tries to do what she believes is the right thing for Carl and subsequently begins an amateurish sleuthing into what happened to him and why. Proving DNA matters, Jesse Kellerman debuts with a delightful character driven who-done-it.
REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER
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