Skip to main content

Dangerous Ends: A Pete Fernandez Mystery

Review

Dangerous Ends: A Pete Fernandez Mystery

There’s nothing quite like watching a private investigator series develop, and I’m having that experience right now with the Pete Fernandez mysteries. Author Alex Segura is an interesting guy, a musician whose day job is writing and editing the Archie line of comics (and who is responsible for the somewhat darker tone of those titles). However, it’s in his novels where his talent sings and shines.

The newly published DANGEROUS ENDS is the third book in the Pete Fernandez series. If you haven’t read the first two --- SILENT CITY and DOWN THE DARKEST STREET --- you can jump right into this latest one without fear of getting lost due to unfamiliarity with what has gone before. Segura’s comic book background (where story “arcs” are often spread out over several issues) serves him and newcomers well; he provides just enough information about the past to make the present familiar and comfortable.

"Segura knows his territory, and the combination of the knowing and troubled detective with the seething backdrop of contemporary Miami makes this a hard series to resist and DANGEROUS ENDS a book you’ll want to read immediately."

When we encounter Pete Fernandez in DANGEROUS ENDS, he is living a quiet, perhaps even boring, existence as a Miami PI, catching and photographically capturing unfaithful spouses in the act or tracing bail jumpers by day while attending an AA meeting for variety. Things pick up, though, when Kathy Bentley, his occasional PI partner and friend without benefits, tells him about a new case that might well change everything. Kathy has been approached by Maya, the daughter of one of Miami’s most notorious convicted murderers. Gaspar Varela, formerly a respected Miami police officer, is serving a life sentence for killing his wife. Maya is convinced of her father’s innocence, and wants Pete and Kathy to investigate leads that she maintains were never fully explored by her father’s defense attorney and that might prove he didn’t commit the murder. This includes forensic evidence, as well as an enigmatic woman who was present at the scene of the crime but changed her story at trial.

It’s a colder than cold case that no one wants to discuss or have reopened, and Pete himself isn’t entirely sure of Varela’s innocence. Things get interesting, however, when the ex-husband of Pete’s ex-wife turns up murdered, and a connection develops between his death and the Varela case. As Pete gets deeper into the investigation, he slowly learns that there is a tie-in between Varela and his own family that involves an assassination ordered by Fidel Castro on Miami Cubans back in the day...and a Castro-linked cartel that is after Pete in the here and now. Pete soon finds that his options are becoming more and more limited, and he has no idea how close the killers really are.

Pete Fernandez is a quietly likable protagonist, the type of guy you want to know and have on your side, and not just because he drives around town with Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew on his car stereo. Segura knows his territory, and the combination of the knowing and troubled detective with the seething backdrop of contemporary Miami makes this a hard series to resist and DANGEROUS ENDS a book you’ll want to read immediately.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on April 14, 2017

Dangerous Ends: A Pete Fernandez Mystery
by Alex Segura

  • Publication Date: April 11, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Hard-boiled Mystery, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Polis Books
  • ISBN-10: 1943818258
  • ISBN-13: 9781943818259