Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (Crime Thriller, May 2019).

Thomas Harris is most famed for creating Hannibal Lector, but we shouldn’t forget he also came up with the female FBI agent Clarice Starling. In his latest crime novel, Harris introduces us to another strong woman battling extreme evil. Cari Mora is a native of Columbia, beautiful but scarred (emotionally and physically) by her experiences as a kidnapped child soldier in her homeland’s long Civil War.

These days she lives in Florida on a slightly shaky refugee visa and works a number of jobs in the Miami area.

One of those jobs is as a part-time housekeeper for a rental property with its own violent and mysterious past. The place was built for legendary drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Rumor has it that the late drug lord had a fortune in gold hidden somewhere on (or maybe underneath) the waterfront property. Two rival criminal groups are out to find the loot and one is led by Hans-Peter Schneider, a madman as ruthless and deranged as any Harris has ever written about (yes, including Hannibal the Cannibal).

Worse, Schneider soon develops a personal obsession toward Cari. This is, to put it mildly, not a good thing.

The result is yet another twisty and often twisted, always fascinating story of crime, perversion, raw survival and eventual, hard-won triumph.

Thomas Harris has another winner here. Highly recommended.

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