Synopses & Reviews
Science and mysticism, nature and greed collide in this mind-bending, compulsively readable thriller from the author of Tropic of Night
and Valley of Bones
, hailed by the Washington Post
as "miracles of intelligent fiction...among the essential novels of recent years."
Deep in the jungles of Colombia, an American priest is shot dead in his makeshift church. A few weeks later an Indian shaman called Moie arrives in south Florida, armed only with a bag of totems and the fearsome power of Jaguar, his god. In Miami, retired detective Jimmy Paz, his wife, and his seven-year-old daughter are plagued by dreams of giant jungle cats that haunt both their sleeping and waking hours.
When affluent Miami businessmen begin to die in gruesome fashion, the local police are baffled by the lack of clues other than the massive, catlike footprints that appear at the scene of each murder. They turn to Paz, famous throughout the city for cracking open two previous, impossible-to-solve cases, and for reasons he doesn't dare share, he agrees to come out of his self-imposed retirement to track the killer.
As Paz investigates, Moie finds refuge with a group of ecologically minded activists who treat the strange little man as a pet until they find out exactly what mission brought him to the United States and that it's somehow connected to the grisly murders that are occurring with frightening regularity. The deeper Paz digs into the case, the closer to home the danger gets: his investigation opens the door to his mysterious and shocking past and he slowly begins to realize that the dreams he and his family are having could mean the death of his beloved daughter. To save her life and his own he must reach into the deepest corners of his soul and find the strength to hold fast against the irresistible pull of the spirit world.
"Gruber's highly entertaining supernatural thriller completes the trilogy that began with Tropic of Night and Valley of Bones. All feature Miami cop Jimmy Paz, though the real star of this outing is the supposedly dull-witted Jenny Simpson, a gofer for the Forest Planet Alliance. When someone starts murdering Cuban-American businessmen in grisly fashion, suspicion falls on Moie, an Indian from a remote area of Colombia the victims had plans to develop. But how could the tiny Indian leave footprint evidence indicating he weighs over 450 pounds? Summoned out of retirement, Jimmy takes on the case, though he and his seven-year-old daughter, Amelia, are soon troubled by dreams of a jaguar with evil designs on Amelia. Every time Moie glides onto the page, the book shines, but it's Jenny, helping to shelter Moie, who steals the show (e.g., she's baffled that her boss would have a wife, Portia, named after a car). Hotly spiced with hit men and guns, demon gods and piranhas, this one offers more social satire than its predecessors, mostly at the expense of do-gooder environmentalists. 3-city author tour. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Unlike most writers in this genre, Gruber gives more to ponder than intriguing clues to the identity and motive of the killer...and he does it with prose that is efficient yet rich and hip." Oregonian
"When Gruber explores the religious rites and culture of Santeria and a South American shaman named Moie, he's at his gripping best." Booklist
"Night of the Jaguar remains that rarest of creatures: superior entertainment that raises sincere, provocative questions of intellect and faith." Seattle Times
"For those who haven't yet read his novels, Michael Gruber's Jimmy Paz trilogy is like settling down with a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel...if it was rewritten by James M. Cain." Denver Post
Deep in the jungles of Colombia, an American priest is shot dead in his makeshift church.
A few weeks later an Indian shaman arrives in South Florida, armed only with a bag of totems and the fearsome power of his vengeful god.
As a Miami Homicide Detective, Jimmy Paz saw terrible things that defied rationality. Now retired, he's put the darkness behind him. But suddenly he, his wife, and their young daughter are being haunted by horrific dreams—terrifying visions of a giant jungle cat. And when affluent Miami businessmen begin dying gruesomely in their fortress-like homes—with the footprints of a massive animal found at the crime scenes—the baffled police must turn to Paz, who has experience with the impossible. Paz cannot refuse, for he's tied to this case by a shocking secret from his past. And what he loves most may be the next thing devoured in this nightmare of carnage and sacrifice.
“Like settling down with a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel—if it was rewritten by James M. Cain.”
Michael Grubers Night of the Jaguar—like his earlier novels featuring Miami detective Jimmy Paz (Tropic of Night, Valley of Bones)—transforms the conventional thriller into something extraordinary, taking the crime novel to a place it has never gone before. Combining a grisly murder investigation with chilling supernatural elements and provocative thought, Night of the Jaguar is a bravura display of the originality and artistry that has won Gruber the title, “the Stephen King of crime fiction” while inspiring the Washington Post Book World to name the Jimmy Paz trilogy, “among the essential novels of recent years.”
About the Author
Michael Gruber has been a marine biologist, a restaurant cook, a federal government official, and a political speechwriter. He lives in Seattle, Washington, and is currently at work on another novel.