No other way to say it…this is bad…really bad. Whittington steps away from the crime novel for this story of a Cuban family in Dead Bay, Florida. Their virginal daughter is having an affair with her boss. He’s twice her age.
Big Juan Venzino is a local legend. Bigger than life and wholly devoted to his wife Rosa. They have a passel of kids. The oldest is Alberto who married and moved away. Their daughter Dolores is nineteen and drives the boys crazy. She doesn’t do it on purpose she’s just a total knockout.
Dolores is attracted to her boss, Mal Hollister. He tries to fight returning her feelings but he’s helpless. The family is upset and wants her to be with a local, Ric Suarez. They went together in high school but that was then. Ric played pro ball with the Bears before being cut for drinking and poor performance on the field.
Alberto, now called Al, comes to the house along with his wife Bea. She hates the whole Dead Bay scene and never ceases to say so. Juan wants Al to talk with Dolores about her affair. He wants to talk with Hollister.
One night it’s date time as Hollister comes by to pick Dolores up. Ric is also in the house. The atmosphere is ugly. The two leave. At Hollister’s she’s all set to lose her virginity but Hollister can’t take her at the moment. It doesn’t feel right to him unless they’re married.
He drops her back home and a drunken Ric is waiting. He gets her in his car and attacks her. Dolores walks through a rain storm into the house and to her room. Rosa walks in and gets the story. She doen’t believe Ric could do such a thing and blames Hollister. Then Juan gets into the act. He’s ready to kill Hollister. Al says he’ll go see him. Despite what Dolores says, no one believes her.
Things take a ridiculous melodramatic turn and it should have been a huge embarrassment for Whittington. If you’ve never read him or are a fan, avoid this at all costs. It’s beyond terrible.