I knocked another book off the reading challenge list! Sometime this fall, Miles and I are going to visit my grandmother and step-grandfather in San Antonio. There were a few books to pick from that were set in that area, but I decided to go with Big Red Tequila by Rick Riordan because, well, it’s Rick Riordan.
He wrote this series before he became famous with the Percy Jackson series. He was living in San Antonio at that point in time, teaching English.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I do enjoy reading murder mysteries on occasion, after all. The story begins when Jackson “Tres” Navarre returns to San Antonio after disappearing for 10 years following the murder of his father, Sheriff Navarre, before his eyes. Tres escaped to San Francisco, where he learned tai chi and became an unlicensed P.I. When he left, he left behind his mother and his high school sweetheart, Lillian Cambridge. Lillian started sending letters to Tres, convincing him to return to San Antonio so they can rekindle their love. Tres decides to do so and finds himself reconnecting with everything he had left behind, including his father’s unsolved murder. As he begins digging through a decade of old evidence, Lillian suddenly comes up missing and the only clue is a disc hidden inside of a statue that she gave to Tres. From there, Tres tries to figure out if her disappearance is related to his research on his father’s case or something else entirely.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a little slow in the beginning because it was primarily Tres rehashing his past and the awkward reconnection between himself and Lillian, plus everything he left behind in San Francisco. Once Lillian disappeared, the story picked up. There are a lot of threads, but in the end, everything wound up being connected.
Tres as a narrator was somewhat unreliable. He was so dogged in trying to find out what happened to his father and what happened to Lillian that he kept doing stupid things. I kept thinking to myself, “Are you serious? Why did you do that?” He also has this really dry sense of humor and sneaks in little hints about himself and his past in a sneaky way. He’ll be describing a murder scene and randomly talk to a dead body or see something from his childhood and throw out a memory he had of it.
I still enjoyed the book, right down to the random enchilada-eating cat, Robert Johnson. (I’m not sure how Tres managed to keep that cat alive considering he didn’t seem to be at home that much.) It’ll be interesting to see how much translates to modern San Antonio considering this was set around 1995.
I’m not sure what my next book off the reading challenge will be. I might do Hunter by Mercedes Lackey and then start The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (again). I started reading it and stopped.
With finishing Big Red Tequila, I have officially finished six books off my list of 25. I need to step it up with my reading (and stop getting distracted, as I’m wont to do)!