As much as Camaro Espinoza, the main character of The Night Charter is a modern, tougher (yes, tougher), more complex version of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, she is also very much her own character. She was a soldier, has left a wake of bodies in her path, and she has no problem kicking butts and taking names. In the sizzling and muggy city of Miami, Camaro is embracing her new start. Living under the radar, all she wants to do is (catch and release) fish and take out a variety of run-of-the-mill charter guests.
Trouble has a way of finding Camaro. This time it arrives in the form of ex-con Parker Story, who after staying on the straight and narrow for a few years has gotten in over his head. Parker has more than his life on the line, he is a single dad. After a very lucrative illegal run to Cuba to smuggle out an anti-Castro activist, the proverbial shit hits the literal fan.
Camaro ends up on the run with Parker’s teenager daughter Lauren. Dodging the authorities, Cuban nationalists, Castro supporters, and murderous past partners, Camaro serves up her own form of justice. With the intriguing Cuban-US sub-plot, the novel capture and kept my attention from beginning-to-end.
Sam Hawken, the author of The Night Charter, developed a deep and strong female lead in Camaro. The backstory was just enough to pull me in and leave me wanting more. I can’t wait to see what trouble finds Camaro next. The character of Parker was at the same time likable and cringeworthy. Hawken gave us a character who was facing a wall as a felon, but who was desperate to give his daughter the life he felt she deserved. That conflict and desire is what sets the whole story into motion. I’d really enjoyed The Night Charter and would love to join Camaro for another adventure or six. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new series.