The Spirit of Manzanilla
by Lee Roberts
Black Rose Writing

"Everything was dark and quiet as if the night was waiting for its next breath."

One would not expect to find dim-witted Columbian drug cartel mobsters looking for the American dream, pastors with a suspiciously serene congregation, and a vampire club that blackmails to fund field trips, in a novel with an accountant as the heroine. But Roberts likes to give his readers the unexpected.

In this quickly paced and funny novel, Candi Enredame has begun her new job as an accountant, yet soon realizes that inventories and reports can be incredibly dangerous. Her first boss is found murdered, having skied off of their office buildings five story roof—only there was no snow. It's now up to Candi, her friends, and fellow accountants to find the killer may be before they lose their jobs or their lives.

Roberts is incredibly adept at pacing, giving fascinatingly odd plot twists that keep the reader guessing at every instance. Take the "Nut People" for example. They are a congregation inadvertently drugged via communion at their church, Our Lady of the Sacred Nuts. Actions more likely seen in a road rage accident are shown at a tent revival.

Throughout the story, tension builds in subtle yet solid ways. Something as benign as a nearly empty mall can be made malignant. "To the untrained eye, the scene looked eerily like a bad horror movie about zombies who rise from the dead to eat their friends and families." Through a slow build of tension and wonderfully oddball characters and situations, The Spirit of Manzanilla promises to be a true page turner.

Return to USR Home