Cari Mora By Thomas Harris is a heist novel where a band of thieves plot together to steal gold that Pablo Escobar buried under his mansion in Miami. This book felt false from the get go like Harris was trying to mimic Elmore Leonard style novel. He still can deliver brutal shocking violence, and worthwhile the flashbacks, that are the best thing in this book. The style and the approach were really lacking. The novel is named after a character in the novel, she’s the lead barely as she comes in and out but people want to keep involving her, her background was really compelling but after we get her full background I grew a little invested and interested in her character, but she doesn’t come back into the story for another 50 pages or so; Harris does it again with a Detective Robles later. I wanted to like the plethora of characters but I was grasping at straws to find any attachment. It has been 13 years since Thomas Harris has published a book and over thirty years that the book has not featured the character Hannibal Lector. I have only read Red Dragon (which I loved) and watched all the movies and TV shows based on his work he’s proven he can create iconic characters in Hannibal Lector and Clarice Starling, but this book appears a miss, for me and my taste. I do not take pleasure in reviewing a bad novel, and I will always finish a book before giving any opinion it, but this is not a good novel and I know Thomas Harris can do better.
Plot: Caridad Mora is a house sitter bird sitter, and Animal rescuer, she was a former Columbian freedom fighter that fled to the US when her captian was shot and killed on her watch. She stays and takes care the Pablo Escobar’s old place in Miami. The place is lavish and mainly used for movie making and very rich tourist. An old Columbian man Jesus is dying and he is spiling secrets so his family will be taken care of, and he’s in connections with a sadistic Russian murder, Hans-Peter, that sells organs on the black market and loves killing women he has capital and rents the place while digging for the gold. Don Ernesto a Don in Columbia finds out about this and puts his guys in as grounds keepers and pool cleaners. They all fall in love with Cari but want to steal the 25 million in gold. It’s a race to se who can steal the gold and open the safe that Pablo had personally designed so know one can break in.
What I Liked: The heist is is fun and I liked the booby trap on the safe. I loved, the background of both Cari Mora and Detective Robles really interesting really well told, I wish there was more of this writing in the whole of the novel. The action scenes there’s only a few, but I had fun with them.
What I Disliked: How much the story jumped around, it was a pain, and hard to keep up with at times. The style, every time you give a chapter to an animal and their point of view you might want to set that up from the beginning not just be zany. Th bad guy Hans-Peter is so one layered that I didn’t find him interesting. The dialogue was hard to differentiate what character was talking because they all sounded so a like. Having whole conversation in Spanish but not always telling what they were saying was super annoying, I took two years and was able to get the gist but still really annoying. The ending made the heist kind of unimportant, to one character that sacrificed a lot to get there, I felt the character wouldn’t give up that easily.
Recommendation: I would say skip this one, I would not recommend this one. That being said there’s small burst of genius, very small if you’re a super fan you might get more out of it, than I did. I f you did like this please check out Elmore Leonard and see how the master of heist and multiple character’s does it. I rated this book a disappointed 2 out of 5 stars. Reading this did make be want to read a good Thomas Harris Novel so I might check out his earlier work again.