Tyrus Books/fiction, mystery thriller
Release Date: December 18, 2011
The news is full of it: escalating tensions from illegal immigration; headless bodies hanging off bridges and bounties placed on lawmen on both sides of the border. New Austin, Ohio, is a town grappling with waves of undocumented workers who exert tremendous pressure on schools, police and city services. In the midst of the turmoil, three very different kinds of cops scramble to maintain control and impose order.
But the rape-murder of a Mexican-American woman triggers a brutal chain of events that threatens to leave no survivors. El Gavilan is a novel of shifting alliances and whiplash switchbacks. Families are divided and careers and lives threatened. Friendships and ideals are tested and budding love affairs challenged. With its topical themes, shades-of- gray characters and dark canvas, El Gavilan is a novel for our charged times.
Forget about the old adage that you should never discuss religion in polite company, the new topic guaranteed to start an argument is immigration. I would bet that everyone in the U.S. knows at least one immigrant or first generation citizen. It is quite possible that everyone is at least acquainted with someone who entered the country illegally. Black and white, or innumerable shades of gray? A hot button topic to be sure!
El Gavilan tells the immigration story from several viewpoints, including a child crossing the harsh desert to the U.S. with her family and a former Border Patrol agent who lost his family to the war on immigration. Both were changed forever, but perhaps not in the way you might expect.
Sadly, this book reads more like a screenplay than a novel. You can’t help but feel that you are being cheated as the story races along at breakneck speed, spinning by plot points as if checking them off a list. The story is good. The characters are good. I would have loved a little more time to explore them both. If that is not possible, perhaps the author will indulge us with a book featuring Cousin Chris?
My verdict: Read it! I would have liked a little more depth in parts, but all in all it is a good, engaging story.