Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Romilia Spices Up L.A.

When we first met Romilia Chacon, the smart, sexy (and how do you say “feisty” in Spanish?) police detective was not just the sole Latina on the Nashville homicide squad but the only woman. Overcoming, even using her diverse background, Romilia rose quickly through the cop ranks. Now, in her third outing, she is 30 and has become a special agent of the FBI in Los Angeles – much to the delight of her mother, who does most of the daily looking-after of Romilia’s eight-year-old son Sergio, and to the boy himself, on his way to soccer confidence. Chacon was glad to give up her job as coach of Sergio’s team, the Mighty Slayers: “I hadn’t warmed up much to the other mothers on the team,” she admits. “There were differences between us, like shards of glass strewn over the sidelines…”

But her new happiness quickly turns to darkness and anger, when someone beats to death Romilia’s former lover, Chip Pierce, an FBI agent with a prosthetic leg. A brutal drug lord is the leading suspect, but digging into Chip’s background and past cases sends Chacon on a frightening search in another direction. Villatoro catches her voice and attitude so perfectly that we hope to read many more books about Romilia.