White Tombs

White Tombs

by Christopher Valen

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Overview

When a prominent leader of St. Paul’s close-knit Hispanic community is murdered, Detective John Santana promises the widow he will bring down the killer. Despite the snow and bitter cold, the case heats up quickly—suspects are killed before they can be questioned; his alcoholic partner’s trigger finger draws the attention of Internal Affairs; a sexually explicit photo of a murder victim surfaces in an unlikely place; a snow plow becomes a deadly weapon; and police brass threaten to pull Santana off the case. Hunted by an assassin out for revenge and haunted by his violent Colombian past and the younger sister he left behind, Santana’s simple vow to a dead man’s wife becomes an oath that could cost him his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780980001723
Publisher: Conquill Press
Publication date: 03/01/2008
Series: John Santana Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,177,214
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Christopher Valen is the award-winning author of seven police procedurals featuring Colombian-born, St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana, White Tombs, The Black Minute, Bad Weeds Never Die, Bone Shadows, Death’s Way, The Darkness Hunter, and Speak For The Dead. He is also the author of the literary novel All The Fields. Christopher resides in Minnesota and Arizona with his Colombian-born wife, Martha.

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White Tombs 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
firedog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great first mystery novel by Christopher Valen. Mystery takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota. Interesting characters and background of Hispanic community in St. Paul. Central character is Detective John Santana, who grew up in Columbia. Can't wait for the next installment
anneflorenzano on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
White Tombs by Christopher Valen is a great new crime novel introducing John Santana, homicide detective for the St. Paul Police Department. Originally from Columbia, Santana is a smooth, tough and somewhat mysterious detective that we slowly get to know better over the course of the book. In White Tombs he becomes embroiled in the investigation of three murders - of three members of St. Paul's close-knit Hispanic community - that are connected. But only Santana suspects what the true connection between them might be.Santana's investigation, set in the snowy, icy cold of a St. Paul winter, takes on increasing complexity as he digs deeper into the lives of those murdered, and those that knew them. The hard, unforgiving edge of winter complements the solitary path John Santana must take in his investigation, and the cold penetrates the novel even as it surrounds his life. The flavor of Hispanic culture also infuses the book, with the occasional Spanish phrases and detail adding to the authenticity; deftly woven into the story without detracting to the non-Spanish reader.Christopher Valen's direct prose and detailed description is softened with elegant metaphors that elevate his writing above that of a simple dime detective novel. We also get to know detective Santana slowly, his story unfolding over time, which lends a richness and depth to his character that leaves the reader wanting to know more about him. Many of the characters in the book are the kind that one expects in a crime novel - the beautiful woman suspect, the cop you love to hate, the old flame - but they're described nicely and written in believably, and after all - isn't that why we love crime dramas? Occasionally Valen's writing style is a little too choppy, especially at the beginning of the novel - sentences too short, more detail than necessary slowing the flow of the narrative - but on the whole the style works, and makes it a crisp, believable story. This is a solid start to what could be a terrific series of books. There is plenty to mine in Santana's story for future use, and the Hispanic viewpoint presents a fresh way to approach this genre.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
St. Paul Police Detective John Santana left Columbia knowing assassins will come one day to Minnesota to kill him his regret and guilt for leaving his homeland is his sister who is left behind to perhaps face the wrath of his enemies. He and his partner Rick Anderson currently investigate the murder of Julio Perez, owner of the monthly Hispanic newspaper El Dia, in his home. After searching the crime scene, the two cops visit Rafael Mendoza because the victim¿s rolodex is open to the card of the immigration attorney. ----------------- They arrive to witness Mendoza fall off his balcony with a man running from the scene. Anderson shoots and kills the fleeing person Ruben Cordova, who turns out to have worked for El Dia. They search Mendoza¿s loft finding evidence of fake visa applications and the photo of two John Does in a sexually explicit pose. Meanwhile Internal Review investigates the shooting pulling Anderson and Santana off the investigation as they were getting closer to solving the case. Santana¿s boss decides Cordova killed the other two men so has no qualms with reassigning the official investigation to Detective James Kehoe for final cleanup. Santana disagrees with the conclusion and also knows Kehoe will not dig any deeper than he has already done so he keeps investigating on his own time and at his own expense.-------------- WHITE TOMBS is a superb police procedural starring a fascinating lead detective who has a history in his homeland. Santana is a wonderful new addition to the sub-genre as he cares about victims, even dead ones, but especially their grieving loved ones in this case he pledges justice to Julio¿s widow. Alcoholic Anderson is as dedicated in his own way. Readers will appreciate this strong whodunit with a stunning late twist that no one will see coming as Christopher Valen argues that a person¿s collective past makes the person¿s present as experiences lead to current actions and reactions.----------- Harriet Klausner
Inquisidor More than 1 year ago
Interesting story. Well written.