Back To Blood-Tom Wolfe

Back To Blood
Tom Wolfe
Little, Brown and Company, Jan 28 2014, $10.00
ISBN: 9780316036320

Police officer Nestor Camacho becomes a media darling when the Miami Herald reports he courageously rescues an illegal Cuban immigrant from the top of a ship’s mast before arresting the man. However, his Cuban-American “Little Havana” community led by his irate dad condemns his brave act due to Nestor enforcing the “wet-foot, dry-foot policy” by not allowing the exile to complete the final 18 metros to asylum. Soon after that Nestor arrests a big drug dealer who was choking his partner, but instead of accolades his African-American boss suspends him; as YouTube caught the entire incident starting with the other cop using racial slurs. Finally Miami Herald reporter John Smith gets Nestor involved in a museum art forgery scam by Russian Sergei Korolyov.

On a personal front, Nestor’s former girlfriend Magdalena Otero works for psychiatrist Dr. Norman Lewis who helps wealthy clients deal with porn addiction by becoming hooked on him instead. She becomes Lewis’ girlfriend as a means to escape Hialeah as her American dream is accepted assimilation within the greater United States.

With an engaging anecdotal feel to the entertaining storyline, Back to Blood is an intriguing look at Miami mostly through a cop with one foot in the Cuban exile community and the other inside of the American law enforcement world. Nestor’s (and to a lesser degree that of Magdalena) escapades bring to life the dynamics of the unique city, but none of the events are deeply developed. Still fans who appreciate something different will want to read Tom Wolfe’s look at the dichotomy of Miami.

Harriet Klausner

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