Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Dead Run-Adam Mansbach

The Dead Run

Adam Mansbach

Harper Voyager, Sep 24 2013, $25.99

ISBN 9780062199652

Jess Galvan works the lucrative cash crops trade that flows back and forth across the Tex-Mex border. He, like many locals, understands the risks of being caught on either side of transporting illegal goods, but Jess takes his chances as he needs money to pay for the best lawyer in the state in order to gain custody of his daughter Sherry from her religious nut mom Melinda Richards.

In Mexico, he sits in a bar waiting for his latest shipment to deliver to El Paso. He observes two patrons with a stoned teen who makes him think of Sherry. Though Jess knows to sit quietly until Pescador arrives with bearer’s bonds, he intercedes. One of the thugs is the Chief of Police so Jess is sentenced to ten years in prison for attempted murder. Unbeknownst to Galvan, Sherry vanishes and hysterical Melinda calls Del Verde County Sheriff Nichols as she fears her former cult grabbed her daughter. At the same time Tenochtitlan High Priest El Cucuy mentally takes control of Galvan and orders him to deliver a special package to Seth. If he fails to complete his mission he will dwell in hell; if he succeeds humanity will reside in hell on earth.

This exciting Aztec urban fantasy uses the Tex-Mex border as a bridge between the supernatural and the trafficking that goes both ways. Although the key cast is stereotyped, El Cucuy brings freshness with his Aztec beliefs and his ability from a distance to destroy enemies. . With a nod to the FX TV show The Bridge, this taut tale contains a believable (for the most part) paranormal plot, as Adam Mansbach uses Tex-Mex nation to spin an entertaining supernatural thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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