Manuel Ramos returns to novel-length crime fiction with DESPERADO: A MILE HIGH NOIR and a down-on-his-luck protagonist, Gus Corral, who can't believe it when an old high school buddy he hasn't seen in years asks him for help.
Artie Baca looks as cool as ever; the hippest guy in high school now looks like a GQ cover boy, Chicano style. And like always, Artie has women problems, even though he's married. He's being blackmailed because of an imprudent fling—caught on video, of course. Artie has a prosperous real estate business and can afford to pay off the young girl, but he'll reward Gus handsomely for his help in convincing her that there won't be any future payments.
Gus' life hasn't been as successful, and he can really use the money Artie is offering. But before Gus can even deliver the message, Artie is dead and the cops want to know why the stiff was carrying a check made out to his old high school chum. And when an armed stranger shows up in the dead of night, Gus knows there's more to the situation than meets the eye. An investigation into Artie's involvement in the gentrification of Denver's north side leads to harrowing encounters with dangerous criminals, both from the area and south of the border. With the theft of a religious symbol that is revered in the Catholic Latino world, Gus finds himself caught between warring gangs, and he and the people he cares about most must fight for their lives.
MANUEL RAMOS is the recipient of several literary awards and the author of numerous novels, including King of the Chicanos (Wings Press, 2010), Brown-on-Brown: A Luis Montez Mystery (University of New Mexico Press, 2003) and The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz (St. Martin's Press, 1993; Northwestern University Press, 2004), an Edgar Award finalist. He lives and works in Denver, Colorado.
ARTE PÚBLICO PRESS is the nation's largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit www.artepublicopress.com.