El Flamingo Nick Davies book review
book review

Book Review: El Flamingo

EL FLAMINGO by Nick Davies is witty, snappy, and passionate—an action-packed mystery. Check out what Toni Woodruff has to say in their book review of this indie thriller.

El Flamingo

by Nick Davies

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

ISBN: 9781936411849

Print Length: 206 pages

Publisher: YBK Publishers

Reviewed by Toni Woodruff

Witty, snappy, and passionate—an action-packed mystery

Author Nick Davies incorporates elements from his travels across Latin America into his debut novel, El Flamingo. This mystery is full of adventure, vivid scenery, and Latin American culture.

With a pessimistic narrator and the looming mystery behind “El Flamingo,” Davies’ goal is to remind the reader to seize the day, no matter where it takes you.

El Flamingo follows Lou Galloway, an actor. After facing one too many rejections, Galloway becomes disillusioned by Hollywood’s greed for fresh young faces and impulsively decides to travel to Mexico and rediscover himself. 

Lou’s pilgrimage turns sideways after he meets a mysterious man at a bar that leaves behind a flamingo-feather fedora. Thinking it an innocuous hat, Lou puts the fedora on and is instantly branded as the assassin, “El Flamingo.” To survive, Lou must completely envelope himself into the role, for better and quite worse. 

“Maybe deep down, the lost dreamer in me that would never really die had always known that one day, I would somehow return.”

El Flamingo’s narrator Lou initially comes across as brass, cynical, and even pitiful. He has such confidence in his acting skills while battling with so much self-deprecation that first makes him an obscure character. But as the plot progresses, Lou’s internal monologue becomes comical and charismatic. I love it when thrillers don’t take themselves too seriously, and El Flamingo thrives here. The speaker’s self-awareness in his misadventure highlights the most comical and approachable moments of this fish-out-of-water story,

There are some aspects of the book, however, that raise some questions for me. As a native Spanish speaker from Latin America, there’s a lack of dialect and slang that would have been prevalent in the regions Lou visited. I wonder about Lou’s ability to understand Spanish, too. Despite being monolingual, he seems to know quite a bit in the short time he travels. I also wonder if we could have seen different sides of Latin America. The book focuses on two regions primarily, regarding a few political issues from one thoughtful but limited perspective.

El Flamingo is rollercoaster ride nonetheless. It’s fast, fun, and leaves you breathless. It has all the markings of an action/thriller with an essential mystery twist. I would recommend this book to those that are craving something adventurous and convivial.

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