READERS TELL ALL.
Alex Segura's astonishing"Pete Series" starring Pete Fernandez is coming to a close with the astonishing final novel, Miami Midnight. Miami Midnight gathers up a lot of what makes Pete great: in a sense, it's the final homecoming novel for Pete, the return to every dark part of him, the understanding that nothing is actually right or wrong, not entirely so, and instead we must invest in and trust Pete's ability to decide what must be done.
The novel is a sort of fairy tale--one that might not be as gruesome as a story about a mermaid and her demise or a dancer with special shoes and, well, her demise, but Pete is destined to fight against seemingly impossible odds and in doing so he prove to be a true hero for a noir series. Here, Pete must prove he is--and isn't--what he's been all along, as he's suffered with his self-doubt, mental illness and alcoholism, the losses he's experienced over the years, and every other way he's been defined by others and therein through their eyes viewed himself.
With Pete trying to save the day and pull off impossible feats, hoping save lives and stop something much bigger than himself, he becomes a character not to be messed with, and a sleuth and investigator who stands among the likes of Sara Gran's Claire Dewitt, one of my all-time favorite characters, much like Pete. In fighting to save lives--including his own--Pete must prove himself some sort of hero. The same goes for Segura, a marvelous wordsmith with an expert ability to plot novels so well even JK Rowling might be envious.
The novel, in many ways, is the mirroring of the first novel in the Pete series, and it is the mirroring of what started off as a regular blockbuster novel and has now, in the novel's final stages, swelled to a height somewhere between films like Melancholia and the Broken Earth series, or any novel by William T. Vollmann. Here we wonder if Pete and Kathy will be together by the end of this novel--or if either of them will even be alive. Here there is the question of what Pete will ultimately discover--for past the miraculous twists Segura manages to whip up, beyond the grand reveals and the secrets, we must learn the truths about all of us, human nature, the worst and best parts of us we are either unable to see or try to avoid.
Here is a love story, my love story, to Pete Fernandez and Segura as well. This past year has been difficult for me personally, and it's so important to see the (realistic) resilience of Pete, his ability to keep standing and keep fighting, whether it's for his own health or the safety and lives of others. In Pete's world, we see the grittiness of Breaking Bad, but unlike Breaking Bad, with a "good enough" finale, Segura does not hold back. Granted, there's no gust-worthy climax like in the previous novel, Blackout, but that may be the very point of the novel: Segura isn't looking for fireworks. He's looking for a K.O.
Bask in the series. Love them and let yourself love Pete and every person in his world, and all the fights he overcomes. Pete is resilient, but his fate is undecided. Miami Midnight comes out soon, and you should preorder, and if you haven't read the entire series, feel free to catch up. Midnight signals the end of one day, the bridge to another, and likewise we may say goodbye to Pete and his world, but Segura is a master with words and characters and story, and whether Pete returns again, we are lucky to have Segura stick around and tell more tales, break my hearts, and drop more bodies than we can count.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Alongside fellow heavyweights Megan Abbott, Laura Lippman, and Lou Berney, Blackout has been nominated for the Anthony Award for best novel. Just another reason you should dive into Pete's world.