ZERO SAINTS by Gabino Iglesias (Broken River Books)
There are no saints here!
I read a lot of books and tend to find that four or five books a year are that good that I can’t put them down. ZERO SAINTS by Gabino Iglesias is one of those books.
Fernando is the star of the show. He’s a small time criminal who trades his life in Mexico – after a beat down goes wrong – to work as a bouncer at a nightclub in Austin, selling drugs for the local crime boss, Guillermo. Then one day, after work, he’s thrown in the boot (trunk) of a car and driven to an abandoned house, where he watches his friend get beheaded. It’s a warning to Guillermo. There’s a new gang in town and they want to take over.
Fernando is a thug, a criminal, but he’s also a good guy. He knows he can’t take these gangbangers down on his own. So what does he do? Does Fernando run, like he did in Mexico, or stay, arm himself and fight?
It’s my first time reading anything by Iglesias (and obviously it won’t be the last). He puts together a great cast of characters from the mysterious Consuelo, to a gun-totin’ rapper. Throw in a Russian hitman and a seemingly unstoppable Mexican gangbanger. Mix it all together with Iglesias’ knowledge of Mexican culture. The result is addictive noir. ZERO SAINTS is an awesome book which leaves you wanting more.
Add to that a fine Revert cover and a good layout (I used to work as a typesetter and I have OCD tendencies so I’m anal for that) and you’re left with one beautiful book.
Welcome to Barrioland. (Jack Bantry)