Poetic Justice by Sandra Bonsell
Comprising twenty chapters that are split evenly between “His” and “Hers,” Poetic Justice aims to treat the issues of nationality, tourism, and ultimately identity as a whole. The alternating chapters, all in first person, allow the reader to organically come to know the stories of Sun Wren Richards, a retired Native American artist from Wyoming, and Angelo Lopez, a young Costa Rican boy. Sun’s story begins with an impromptu trip to Costa Rica, which leads her to buy property and start a bed-and-breakfast in the gorgeous, dense jungle. Angelo’s story begins in his turbulent youth, following him through bouts with alcoholism at an early age, the death of his brother for which he blames himself, to his eventual placement at a military school in the States. Angelo rises through the ranks, finding himself more and more involved in top-secret operations. Sun and Angelo’s (“His” and “Hers”) stories intersect when Angelo—now in his mid-to-late forties—decides to stay at Sun’s peaceful resort, aptly named Casa Quetzal de Paz. The more time they spend together, the more they each become embroiled in shady, multinational crime dealings. Drug cartels, Russian spies, arsenic-laced swimming pools, and point-blank assassinations: nothing seems to be off-limits.
Poetic Justice is truly a roller coaster from start to finish. It’s a fairly quick read, despite its considerable length. It takes the reader captive from page one, through sharp twists and turns, and refuses to let go until the very end. Some may find fault with its characterization of women, and the novel does tend to gloss over some issues that could stand to be addressed in a more real way, but all in all, it’s worth reading if you’re a fan of fast-paced novels set in foreign countries.