Dr. Brinkley’s Tower

Robert Hough, Author
Robert Hough. Steerforth (Random, dist.), $16.99 trade paper (424p) ISBN 978-1-58642-203-5
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Open Ebook - 221 pages - 978-1-58642-204-2
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-0-88784-319-8
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An impoverished Mexican border town languishes in the aftermath of the Mexican revolution in Robert Hough’s (The Final Confession of Mabel Stark) lackluster fourth novel. The residents of Corazón de la Fuente have had little to look forward to since revolutionary fighting tore their village apart. So when Dr. Brinkley, an American millionaire, chooses their town to build a radio tower, the villagers are delighted. Although some have reservations about Brinkley, who claims he can cure impotence with his goat gland implantation technique, the economic prospects change most of their minds. After all, the town’s steadiest earners thus far have been the madam and her working girls. As the tower goes up, “the worry so firmly etched into the faces of the townspeople eased, making room for expressions of gaiety.” Francisco Ramirez, a strong-willed teen, takes advantage of the upswing and begins to teach English in order to impress the beautiful Violeta with flowers and sodas. The cantina owner and the madam hire new help to keep up with demand, and the lightened atmosphere leads to strange romantic connections. However, the townspeople quickly learn that Dr. Brinkley might not be the savior they imagined, and that money brings problems as well as prosperity. Unfortunately, a scattered narrative and cardboard characters leave the novel sluggish and colorless. (Jan. 2)
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