UNDER THE CARIB SUN by Ro Cuzon

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UNDER THE CARIB SUN

2013
The Rogue Reader

UNDER THE CARIB SUN catapults the reader right into the seedy underbelly of Paradise, giving us a view of the island I’m sure few are privy to. This installment of the Adel Destin series gives us deeper insight into Adel’s dark and seedy past, contrasting sharply with the beauty and sunshine of the Caribbean island of St.-Barth’s where the story takes place. Adel is new to the island, having escaped a deal gone bad with his former employers back in France. He immediately falls into bed, and a relationship, with a beautiful waitress named Daphnee. Adel also quickly finds himself in bed with the drug crowd in town, and is no sooner welcomed on the island than he and a new partner are selling huge amounts of cocaine to the locals and tourists alike. The previous owners of the drugs are not happy, and are hunting for the new island drug lords, since Adel and his partner didn’t exactly pay for the merchandise. Daphnee has a dark past as well—one that involves vengeance for the death of her former roommate and lover Lili who was killed on the island several years earlier. She needs Adel’s help in order to avenge Lili’s death, and escape a murder rap of her own. Adel is swept up in a life of drugs, sex and crime, but the real test will be whether he and his friends will escape the island alive.

RoI’ll be honest. Before Ro Cuzon, I had never downloaded a book onto an e-reader. I wasn’t even sure how to go about it, and didn’t have any real interest in learning how to turn my iPad into a reading machine. Turns out I just needed the right motivation. And let me tell you, it was absolutely worth it. In UNDER THE CARIB SUN Adel Destin is something of an anti-hero—a rough and tumble drug dealer, but one who, despite his addictions and oftentimes his own choices, is seeking a better life. By the end of the novel, you are certainly rooting for Adel and his friends to find whatever brand of justice they deem necessary. Cuzon has great character development, as well as an eye for pacing—the story grabs the reader at the very beginning and doesn’t let go, carrying the reader along to the dramatic conclusion. He also paints an atmospheric picture of the locale—both the beauty of the island and the seediness of some of its inhabitants. UNDER THE CARIB SUN is the prequel to Cuzon’s UNDER THE DIXIE MOON, also starring Adel Destin—another novel you should immediately download. Both novels are gritty, gripping crime novels that bring the word noir alive on the page. It is easy to see why Cuzon’s work is being touted by the likes of George Pelecanos and Laura Lippman—this is a writer well worth reading, and well worth watching.
Erica Ruth Neubauer