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Cari Mora by Thomas Harris #BookReview

From the creator of Hannibal Lecter and The Silence of the Lambs comes a story of evil, greed, and the consequences of dark obsession.

Twenty-five million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for years. Leading the pack is Hans-Peter Schneider. Driven by unspeakable appetites, he makes a living fleshing out the violent fantasies of other, richer men.

Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.

Monsters lurk in the crevices between male desire and female survival. No other writer in the last century has conjured those monsters with more terrifying brilliance than Thomas Harris. Cari Mora, his sixth novel, is the long-awaited return of an American master.

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

Title: Cari Mora | Author: Thomas Harris | Publisher: Grand Central Publishing | Pub. Date: 21 May 2019 | Pages: 311 | ISBN: 9781538750148 | Genre: Thriller/Mystery | Language: English | Triggers:  None | Rating: 3 out 5 | Source: Self-purchased

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Cari Mora Review

“The wind off the bay was full of ghosts tonight — young men and women and children who had lived or died in her arms….other nights the wind batted lightly at her like the memory of a kiss, of eyelashes brushing her face, sweet breath on her neck” (12).

Thirteen years. It is impossible to NOT be overly excited when one of my favorite authors of all time announces a new book after a little over a decade.  I pre-ordered. I waited. It was to be set in a different world than Lecter, but that was fine. I loved Black Sunday, too. And then it was here, delivered on release day.  YES!! The review that follows is my honest reaction to reading this newest from Harris: part joy, part disappointment, and a bit of bewilderment.

Let’s start with the bewilderment.  I innocently opened Goodreads to update my status to “currently reading” and saw some kind of insanity happening.  A very low preliminary rating….ON THIS?! I, as a matter of principle, do not usually read reviews of a book I am about to read. Nope, no thanks.  So I just skimmed a bit and saw complaints of the normal variety for most books – the writing, it’s boring, and on and on. What really kind of surprised me, but also didn’t, was the number of people commenting on how this wasn’t Silence of the Lambs, etc.  Fans can be rough, man. This made me determined to read this book as openly as I humanly could, to forget who the author was and his previous works. I think I succeeded for the most part.

I am not one to dwell on things I did not like about a book, so here goes.  The plot is a bit scattered, the villain didn’t “villain”, and there are interjections and/or brief sentences that seem disconnected and pulled me out of the story.  The synopsis above is AMAZING. I know they aren’t meant to be everything about the book, I do read quite a bit, but Harris has other threads and pieces of information that make what could be a tight, tense premise a bit, well, fractured. Hans-Peter Schneider has this potential to be a spectacular, evil antagonist. I know I promised to read this without thinking of Harris’ other books, but imagine someone who could encompass the best parts of Hannibal Lecter and Francis Dolarhyde. SWEET! But it didn’t happen, not for me. I am sad.

Finally, the joy. See the quote I opened the review with? There are gorgeous pieces of writing and atmosphere throughout this book.  I wish they could’ve lended more continuity to the book, but I was glad for them when they happened. Beyond the writing, I love Cari Mora as a protagonist.  I wanted more of her! Most of my favorite parts of this book involve her, her backstory, and her actions. It is evident that Harris has really done his research into Columbia, child soldiers, and the flora and fauna of Miami.

Overall, I landed on a three for this book. I am not angry as others seem to be, nor am I in love.  I am, however, thankful for a good read and I remain a constant reader of Harris’ work.


You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inThriller Book ReviewsUnstarred Reviews
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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