Book Review: ‘Dancing With The Tiger’ Is An Entertaining And Kaleidoscopic Debut Novel


When 30-year-old Anna Ramsey learns that a meth-addicted looter has dug up what might be the funerary mask of Montezuma, she books the next flight to Oaxaca. Determined to redeem her father, a discredited art collector, and to one-up her unfaithful fiancé, a museum curator, Anna hurls herself headlong into Mexico’s underground art world. But others are chasing the treasure as well…

The book starts off compellingly, convoluted, fascinating, and irritating but draws you in and keeps you there. Mexico, artifacts precious, old, imitations, and corruption with greed on a massive scale, death is commonplace in this arena where life is not only cheap, for those that hold the key to death, you want a special hell. Author Lili Wright knows aspects of Mexico and her people that is downright scary but the Americans don’t shine either!

This novel revolves around Anna Ramsey’s quest for the death mask of Montezuma. Her father, a collector, is going to use it as a center piece for his exhibition, a presentation that has already been cancelled because the included artifacts have not been authenticated, but with this new acquisition of the mask, all will be forgiven.

Anna takes off for Mexico with her mother’s ashes and money to purchase the mask. It would be impossible to try and explain any of the scraps this very damaged girl gets in to and you cannot help but say to yourself, as she makes one bad decision after another, “Hell no, don’t do that!” Many of the characters are presented and are very cleverly exposed as they knit the fabric of the story together.

You will need time and peace to ride the storm that comes and there are no happily ever afters, only an indication that everything is going to be okay. But hope springs eternal.

Wright introduces her characters individually and ties them up very neatly. Some of the players you like, others give you chills, but altogether, it is a very good first effort. Highly recommended.

Available in book stores now


Ann McDonald

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