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Voodoo Eyes
by Nick Stone

Release Date: 1st Sep 2011
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 978 0 7515 4323 0
RRP: £6.99

Average Customer Rating: 
(0.0 based on 0 ratings)

Dodgy Miami cops, black groups, exiled political dissidents and Cuba. No voodoo, no thrills...

Voodoo Eyes ushers in a new winner for the “most blatantly unlike the blurb on the back” book. One hundred pages in and I’m wondering where the evil voodoo master, Solomon Boukman, is. Three hundred pages in and I think I must have misread the back cover – there is no voodoo shenanigans and no one resembling the terrifying Boukman. I’ve reached the end and Solomon Boukman is a ghost, one that makes a nominal appearance on the cusp of the finale; voodoo, a mutely sighed side-note to this morose tale of nonsense.

So, having established that this book cannot be judged by its cover – because the cover falsely portrays its contents; here’s the actual plot in summary:

The scene is set around the time of the momentous election of America’s first black president. Max Mingus, ex-cop, now private dick has reached new lows. In his fifties, he is consumed with a perpetual state of unrest: he’s waiting for his past to catch up with him; bearing not just the $20 million he squirreled into the country and never declared, but the blood on his hands and his complicity in corruptness as a cop in Miami. Next thing you know, his old mentor is executed; two bullets through his eyes. Then it’s his best friend’s turn – only one shot, barely missing Max, but finding the eye socket in Joe Liston’s face. After a few heartfelt posits about the why’s and wherefore’s – Max is accosted by a US agent intent on sending Max into the miasma that is Cuba. He’s looking for Vanetta Brown – long-time “domestic terrorist”, self-exiled to Cuba and close friend to Fidel Castro himself. Evidence puts her squarely in the frame for the both murders back in the US. The trouble is: Max doesn’t believe it.

The trouble with Voodoo Eyes is not necessarily in its spectacular fail in delivering the plotline expected, nor is it in the yawning lack of thrills, but it’s in the pointlessness of it all. From the initial stint of staking out apparently adulterous individuals, to the increasingly boring re-run of the porno DVD; there is very little to commend this title. It’s only positive, perhaps, is the realistic dialogue that zips, glides, frolics and punches as necessary. Stone, at least, got that right. That, and his scathingly honest assessment of American hypocrisy.

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