Reviews - What do customers think about A Venom Beneath the Skin: A Romilia Chacon Mystery (Romilia Chacon Mysteries)?
loveeeeeeeeeeeed it May 29, 2007
this book was AWSOME i had to read it for class but i loved it. plot was twisting and turning and had me hooked till the last word
Deserves 6 Stars! Feb 25, 2006
I recently met Marcos M. Villatoro, the author of this series, and was compelled to read A Venom Beneath the Skin after hearing him speak. I was not disappointed, in either the book or the author. This book grabbed me on page one and kept me hostage until the very last word. The story and the writing are hard hitting yet compassionate, and the look into the multi-cultural layers of Los Angeles fascinating. Romilia Chacón is a true masterpiece as a protagonist. She is tough yet vulnerable, and her emotional and intellectual relationship with drug lord Tekún Umán is both titillating and bone chilling.
A fun read you won't feel guilty about in the morning! Jan 17, 2006
I love this series. After hearing a profile of this book and author on public radio, I read Home Killings, followed quickly by Minos, and now this book. Each one is better than the last. Readers of the first two books should particularly enjoy the focus on Romilia's relationship with Tekun, the compelling villain/hero/love interest in this novel. I don't read a lot of "genre" fiction, but this book demonstrates that crime fiction can have all the complexity and character development usually associated with literary fiction.
Wow! A suspenseful, multi-cultural, feminist mystery! Jan 12, 2006
From first page to last, Marcos M. Villatoro's A Venom Beneath the Skin is a suspenseful page-turner, but more importantly this fun book is also an intelligent feminist multi-cultural literary intervention.
Looking at the book from a feminist perspective, first, Romilia Chacon is a strong, yet realistic woman. For example, she is sexy (and there are sex scenes!) but her sexuality is truthful. She's both "hot" and matter-of-fact. Second, several other multifaceted females support Romilia's story. Detective Chacon is not presented as a female superhero anomaly. Finally, the males' stories may be secondary, but they too are diverse and sensitively portrayed in often surprising and nontraditional ways. This description may sound vague, but if I give details as to how these characters are multifaceted and nontraditional, it would give away some of the shocking twists!
As a multi-cultural story Villatoro's book is extremely effective. It teaches histories and cultures without being heavy-handed or didactic. I learned more about Tijuana Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Guatemalans, various cities and political histories, and yet it never felt like I was being taught. Whiteness is also deconstructed and explained (through a here unnamed female character!) and African American and Asian American women make appearances that may be brief, but they're not tokens.
A Venom Beneath the Skin is excellent for anyone to read for a good time however what makes it a truly excellent read are the sensitive character portrayals and the socio-political framework. I'm a picky and easily offended reader, but I do love to read. I'm choosey with my recommendations, but I sincerely recommend Villatoro's book for pleasure, in the college classroom, and for reading groups.
exciting police procedural Aug 26, 2005
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 createmore Romilia Chacon novels.