The Border Lords
T. Jefferson Parker
Dutton, Jan 11 2011, $26.95
Los Angeles sheriff's deputy thirtyish Charlie Hood continues to work for ATF as a loaner. Currently he and his partners are conducting surveillance of a house in the border town of Buenavista, California. Four North Baja Cartel gunmen are inside along with undercover ATF agent Sean Ozburn. A close friend of Hood, Ozburn poses as a gun dealing meth peddler.
Abruptly Ozburn goes into rage and kills the cartel members before fleeing the massacre. Hood pursues his friend as he must bring Ozburn in. Meanwhile the rogue ATF agent offers the best gun on the market to a drug cartel leader while Hood’s peer L.A. deputy Bradley Jones feels yanked by his ties to all the players.
The key to the latest Hood police procedural (see Iron River) is the profound realistic look at the border problem from both sides; not just the illegal immigrants but a much more complicated issue. Instead, readers observe supply and demand at its purest with the sale of guns south to the Cartels and in the sale to American customers of drugs and girls. Fans will be hooked from the opening sequence when apparently undercover Agent Ozburn went rogue and never slows down until the final confrontation. Still with all this exhilarating testosterone making for a super tale, it is the economics of the Border Lords on both sides of the fence that brews bigger issues than long time staying illegals.