Lou Murcia is an ex-ninja/rock ’n’ roll bassist who has retired from the assassination business but still moonlights as a vigilante. Things get personal when close friend Frank is killed, the latest victim of the Bloody Bitches — a killer/killers intent on delivering a feminist message with a string of grisly murders. Lou assembles the Justice Gang, a group of like-minded crime fighters, but can’t dig up any leads. He finds mind-blowing romance with a sexy assassin named Poison I.V., but it’s still not enough to put his mind or conscience at ease.
About halfway through Alex Chapley’s narrative in THIRTEEN MOONS OVER MIAMI, this hard-boiled superhero tale takes a turn for the sci-fi, making a detour into time-traveling alternative history. Posing as Englishman Lewis Mersey (Lou’s mercy?) Lou visits an alternate version of Miami (Mayami) which is one of the crown jewels of a Confederate-run Southern US. In this reality, slavery ended due to foreign pressure, former slaves are granted their own nation — New Africa, on the Baja peninsula — and the northern United States of America holds no superiority over the southern Confederate States of America. Lou’s brief visit to an alternate world certainly changes his perception of his current reality, even dulling his sense of injustice over the Bloody Bitches. What does justice matter when faced with infinite realities, infinite nows? It’s hard to tell if Chapley sticks the landing at the conclusion of THIRTEEN MOONS OVER MIAMI as the final goals in this novel are as slippery as reality itself.
Behind its crime thriller premise, THIRTEEN MOONS OVER MIAMI is a smart novel with quirky characters and a powerful message and it takes a deep philosophical dive into politics and social divisions, issues that continue to divide America. Chapley makes a convincing argument for liberal ideals while crafting a narrative conservatives will appreciate as well. The way Chapley exposes America’s two-party political system as a single-party fascist machine in disguise is very compelling, besides which the book is certainly an entertaining read.
A slick, wise-cracking crimefighter finds himself facing a serial killer and parallel universes in Alex Chapley’s THIRTEEN MOONS OVER MIAMI, a smart, satirical examination of American politics, race, and gender clashes.
~Rob Errera for IndieReader