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A Venom Beneath The Skin
by Marcus M. Villatoro

Category: Fiction / Mystery
230 pages; ISBN: 1932112375

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


A Venom Beneath The Skin
Marcus M. Villatoro
Justin Charles, May 2005, $24.95, 230 pp.
ISBN 1932112375

After taking down Minos, Romilia Chacon, a Nashville Police Department detective is offered a job with the FBI in Los Angeles, which she accepts. In LA she has an affair with Special Agent Samuel “Chip” Pierce. The relationship ends when he wants more from her than she can give; they go their separate ways until one night he calls her to see if they can start anew since he is retiring. As much as she cares for him, she can not marry a man she doesn’t love.

That night a man breaks into Chip’s home and murders him. The evidence, markings on his chest and a poisoned dart injecting venom into his system, suggests that drug trafficker Tekun Uman, killed him because of the former agent’s involvement with the woman he loves. After reviewing Chip’s files and other evidence Romilia concludes that Tekun Uman isn’t Chip’s killer, but made to look like he did it. She has no idea who would kill Chip and why and how Tekun Uman fits into the scenario.

Who is behind Chip’s death and the murders of several drug traffickers and why he wants them dead is the core of one of the most exciting storylines in a police procedural in the past year. It is hard to tell the heroes from the villains in A VENOM BENEATH THE SKIN because all wear masks to hide their true faces. Marcus M. Villatoro is a talented writer who hopefully will create more Romilia Chacon novels.

Harriet Klausner


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