A musically talented, Méxican orphan is released from the Convent orphanage as an apprentice plumber but runs away and finds solace with an aged fruit-vendor in México City.
When the Old Man realizes the depth of the boy’s musical ability he sends him off on the quest to become a Mariachi.
Arriving in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, the boy, Memo, teams up with a bus troubadour where they gain fame and notoriety. A Drug Lord, looking for a way to launder his ill-gotten gains, snaps the lad up to promote him for concerts and a way to make his dirty wealth spendable.
But, Memo, as a young man, falls in love with the Drug Lord’s mistress and all hell breaks loose.
I must admit that I shed a few tears at times while writing this novel and I hope that you might also while reading it.
A few Pages to Read:
With frothy saliva spraying from his mouth, veins almost bursting from his forehead and neck, the man better-known to most as el Juzgador, slammed his fist onto the table. He barely missed the plate in front of him piled high with bacon, eggs and grilled tomatoes but the strip of bacon nearest the edge of the plate leapt onto the table and the coffee in his cup spouted upwards sloshing back, losing nary a drop. His beloved dog, a mongrel, pit-bull-cross-something curled up under the table shuddered in fright and sleep-snarled at the disturbance.
An ugly scowl on his face, el Juzgador’s grotesquely corpulent body quivered in a roiling wave. He shrieked loud enough to rupture a bystander’s eardrum, “Put the word out. Find him . . . and fast!” He gouged furiously at his lips with his embroidered jacquard serviette and, just as he had done during his long-ago court room performances, waved his free hand in contemptuous dismissal. Throwing his serviette onto the table he began cracking his knuckles. His underlings knew from painful experience that those Cracks were not a good sign. In order to stem the rising tide of rage, Chuy, el Juz’s ‘enforcer’ and chief bodyguard quickly offered, “Where do you wanna have his body dumped?” Then, somewhat hopefully, “Should we hang it from the overpass into town?” Innocently enough, he asked, “Is there a message to be sent?” The stooge was huge but his brain and mental capacity fell far short of his stature.
“Alive! Alive, you dumb fool. Damn it all! Just find him and bring him here to me. Don’t harm him, don’t even alarm him. He’s far too valuable. Let him think everything is fine.” Then, whimsically, almost as a thought spoken aloud he muttered, “Just fine and dandy . . .” He manipulated the knuckles of each hand, one by one ‒ crack, click, pop. Cupping a hand in front of his face, through squinted eyes he leered into it with a cruel smile of vengeful satisfaction. Looking up at his men, he grimaced as though he could feel the agony of what he was about to propose, “Then I’ll cut his slimy balls off and while he’s rolling around on the floor, writhing in pain, feeling for where they used to be, trying to stop the bleeding . . .” the two underlings stood with bated breath waiting for their leader’s proclamation, “I’ll feed them to my dog! Right in front of his fucking face! That fucking . . .” he paused and frowned as he groped for the most appropriate expression of his wrath, “bastardo desagradecido!” He sneer-smiled, bent forward and affectionately tweaked one of the dog’s ears. Indifferent to the promise of such a purported delicacy, the dog simply twitched his ear free of his master’s fingers and snuffled softly.
Incredulous, but displaying a certain level of astuteness, Chuy posed, “So, you wanna turn your Caruso into a Tiny Tim? Just” and with a resonant ‘click!’ he snapped his fingers overhead loudly to illustrate the haste of his boss’ decision, “like that?” With a cynical snigger, he cocked his head to one side, “You know, like, now it’s here and then . . .” snap! went his fingers again, “now it’s not!” Crunching on the bacon rind salvaged from the table while he dipped a finger of toasted bread into the runniness of his fried eggs, el Juzgador, now a little calmer, looked up and sighed, “O.K. O.K.! Point taken! So maybe I won’t castrate him just yet, but just the same, find him and bring him here, rapido!” He turned back to his breakfast and thought to himself: So, after all these years this fool doesn’t sound as dumb as he looks. Maybe he has a brain after all.
Shoulders hunched, Chuy and his side-kick slunk from the house, climbed into one of the several black Suburban SUVs lined up around the circular driveway and headed off to roust their troops and promulgate the search order. “Man, el Juz is really ticked off. I’ve never seen him so mad,” the other underling remarked as he slammed his door shut and struggled in his pants pocket to find the key for the ignition.
“Well, wouldn’t you be pissed if you ever had a woman like Angela stolen from you?” Chuy suggested with an almost drooling grin.
“Ha! In my dreams!” his companion sighed then postulated, “that’s sort of like being cuckolded, no? So, where do we start looking for the stinking bastard? Surely we don’t have to search the whole of Cuernavaca?”
“The Guitarist probably knows where he would have gone,” Chuy, suggested, and then, feeling the need to assert his limited authority, declared, “So we’ll wanna start there.”
Shrugging his shoulders doubtfully, as he fired the SUV into life his companion conjectured, “Maybe he knows. I guess we can go ask. They’re pretty tight, those two, you know. Maybe he’ll talk, but then again, maybe he won’t.”
“I have my ways, don’t forget,” Chuy smirked, checking his finger nails. “As long as we get Memo in one piece,” warned the other.
“I have my ways,” Chuy reasserted a little more forcefully, grimacing slightly as removed a piece of hanging skin from around the cuticle of a finger. “We know. Chuy, we know. You have your ways,” his voice exuded patronizing reassurance. “But just remember, Memo has to believe that no problem exists. He has to think el Juzgador knows nothing and simply wants to discuss business with him as usual, no?”
“Well, once I get that pinche Guitarist to talk, we’ll wanna keep him out of circulation until we pick Memo up, right? Head over towards their house. Move it!”
A tale of action, romance, intrigue, betrayal and how good deeds don’t necessarily have the best outcome.
An easy, fun read, very informative and you just might visit México on your next vacation!
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