Monday, June 30, 2014

Tequila Sunset -- Sam Hawken

Sam Hawken might live near Baltimore, but he's writing the Texas border like he's been living there all his life.  Tequila Sunset is his second novel (The Dead Women of Juarez was his first), and it's terrific.  You think the American version of The Bridge is real?  Check out Hawken's books and see what the real thing is.

This one revolves around three characters, Flip Morales, Cristina Salas, and Matías Segura.  Morales is a prisoner just released from unfriendly confines of the TDCJ, where he's been dependent on the Azetcas gang for protection.  The Aztecas are very, very bad people, responsible for countless murders and kidnappings.  Now that Flip is outside, he owes them a favor.  Salas is an El Paso cop with a special needs son.  El Paso is the safest city in the U. S.  Segura is a tough cop with the Policía Federal Ministerial.  He's working directly across the Rio Grande from El Paso in Ciudad Juárez, one of the most dangerous places on earth.

When you begin reading Tequila Sunset, you know the stories of these three will be intertwined, and you're right.  But just exactly what happens is something you don't know for a while.  There's a lot of burtal stuff in the novel, and you might think it would be unremittingly grim.  It's not.  There's always a little bit of hope, though I have to warn you [SPOILER ALERT!] that not everyone's going to survive.  That would be too much to expect. [END SPOILER ALERT]

Hawken's books have been much more successful in England than here, it appears, both having been nominated for Dagger awards.  If you want to find out why, pick one up and read it.  You'll catch on.

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