In Manuel Ramos’ latest thriller My Bad, an ex-con and his attorney come together in a case that questions who’s really the bad guy. He will read his latest novel on November 3rd, 7pm at the Tattered Cover Bookstore, 2526 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80206.
Gur Corral is fresh out of jail and intent on keeping his nose clean. He’s living in his sister’s basement, which he shares with a cat or two, Corrine’s CDs and their fathers record collection. The blues music in particular strikes a chord, matching the way he feels about his current state.
Things start to look up when Gus gets a job working as an investigator for his attorney, Luis Móntez. An activist in the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Móntez is slowing down and getting close to retirement, and he figures the felon can do the legwork on his cases. When María Contreras comes to see the lawyer about her dead husbands “business partner” – someone she has never heard of who’s demanding his share of the profits of a business she knew nothing about – Móntez has Gus look into the situation.
Narrating the story in alternating chapters, Gus and Luis recount their run-ins with suspicious characters as they learn that there’s more to the case than meets the eye. The widow’s husband owned and operated a bar, not Aztlán Treasures, a Mexican folk art import company. And word on the street is that he was murdered on his boat in the Sea of Cortez. Soon, the dead bodies are piling up and the pair is surrounded by shadowy figures that point to money laundering, drug smuggling and even Mexican crime cartels.
The follow-up to Desperado, Ramos’ first novel featuring Gus Corral, My Bad races to a walloping conclusion in a Rocky Mountain blizzard, leaving fans of crime novels – and Chicano literature – eagerly awaiting the next installment in his mile-high noir.
Manuel Ramos, an attorney who also has taught Chicano literature courses at Metropolitan State College of Denver, is the author of several crime fiction novels. He was born in Florence, Colorado. One of his grandfathers was a coal miner and the other a veteran of Pancho Villa’s army. His father, a construction worker, and his mother raised Manuel to appreciate education. He graduated from Colorado State University with honors in 1970, and received his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1973.
He is the author of numerous crime fiction novels, including Desperado: A Mile High Noir (2013), which launched a new protagonist, Gus Corral, a long-time resident of North Denver who is down on his luck. Gus finds himself caught between warring gangs when a religious symbol revered in the Catholic Latino world is stolen, and he and the people he cares about most must fight for their lives. A collection of short stories, The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories, was published on March 31, 2015. My Bad: A Mile High Noir, a follow-up to Desperado, adds to his collection.
Ramos’ other crime fiction novels, include The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz (1993), Blues for the Buffalo (1993), The Ballad of Gato Guerrero (1994), The Last Client of Luis Móntez (1996), Moony’s Road to Hell (2002), and Brown-On-Brown (2003). Most of these novels feature Ramos’s popular Chicano detective, Luis Móntez, and several have garnered critical and popular recognition such as the Colorado Book Award and the Chicano/Latino Literary Award (University of California at Irvine), as well as an Edgar nomination from the Mystery Writers of America.
He is co-founder of and regular contributor to La Bloga (www.labloga.blogspot.com), an award-winning Internet magazine devoted to Latino literature, culture, news, and opinion.