In rugged southern Texas, by the Mexico border, Danny Boy Lorca, a former boxer and alcoholic, witnesses a brutal murder.
Sheriff Hackberry Holland had been notified that a federal employee had been abducted.
Danny tells Hack and his chief deputy, Pam Tibbs, that he overheard the killers refer to La Magdalena, aka Anton Ling, a free spirited Chinese woman who provided food and shelter for the impoverished people crossing the border. Danny also heard the leader referred to as Krill.
Krill had been hired to find the missing federal employee, Noie Barnum, as is Temple Dowling, a citizen soldier who employees a number of mercenaries. They believe that Barnum has information about the Predator program and Krill wants to sell him to Al Qaeda.
The characters are bound together in their passionate struggle to survive in this desert area. The memorable Hackberry Holland has been compared to John Wayne in True Grit.
I love the story and the author's talent for good characters but had a few problems in the book and that is why I could only give a three star rating. First, Holland tells of being a prisoner in the Korean war which ended in 1953. Looking at the numbers, this would make him approximately eighty years old. It is difficult to imagine how someone that age could accomplish the physical things that Huck does or to have us believe that his deputy, who is decades younger than he, would have romantic feelings toward him.
In addition, it seems as if Hack is a figure in the mold of Dave Robicheaux. Like Dave he is a widower, attends Mass, dislikes governmental agencies and criticizes people who use bad language around him.
Despite the above, this is a wonderful read, a modern "Lonesome Dove." I recommend it for the story, the colorful characters and the exciting climax.
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About the reviewer
Mike Draper (mikedraper)
Michael A.Draper is a financial planner with Mass Mutual in North Haven, CT. Married to Diana for 46 years, one son and daughter-in-law and two lovely granddaughters. … more
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