Ambitious Edward leaves the family gun-running business for what he thinks are the greener pastures of the cross-border drug trade. Youthful hormones and boredom land him in great trouble.
This novel is hard to place in a genre — the cover pretty accurately calls it “Border Noir” — but it’s plotted like a Western with thriller-like action and characters more original than you usually find in either. This is my first book by the author, James Carlos Baker, and I was pretty excited to see that he has written 11. I’ll be trying out the others soon.
There is a bunch of characters but they’re deftly and efficiently drawn and their relationships attended too so that the reader doesn’t get lost. Few of us have much familiarity with the setting ( the U.S./Mexico border) but via the news and Cormac McCarthy we all have enough familiarity with what goes on there to get a good sense of where things take place — we know it’s hot, dry, and dangerous and that might be all the informaiton needed — and probably most readers don’t know any smugglers, but all of us know people like these characters so it takes no effort to enter the story.
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