Elvis Cole is hired by a woman, Nita Morales, to find her missing daughter, Krista. Nita tells him that she was called about a ransom payment.
Nita is skeptical because it might be a ploy so her daughter can get money to elope. Although her daughter is intelligent and ambitious, even intelligent girls do stupid things when they think someone loves them.
Krista and her boyfriend where at a popular spot in the desert when they were kidnapped by "bajadores'-bandits who prey on other bandits and anyone else they can find. They find immigrants crossing into the U.S. and hold them for ransom. If the family can't pay, the immigrants are murdered. They think Krista and her boyfriend are from wealthy families who are able to pay a good fee to rescue their daughter.
Elvis and his partner, Joe Pike, work together with Elvis going under cover posing as a dealer in human contraband to meet the leader of the 'bajadores' and pay for the release of the captives.
Elvis doesn't realize the heartless of the 'bajadores' and he is taken by them while they check his story. We wonder if he will succeed in his quest.
There is good suspense in this dark novel. We find the plight of the immigrants a sad thing when all that most of them want was a chance for a better life in the U.S.
This is a well written, dexterously plotted mystery with excellent character growth as we learn more of Elvis and Joe who combine to make this a memorable read.
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