The Border Lords

A Charlie Hood Novel
The Border Lords: A Charlie Hood Novel. Dutton. Jan. 2011. c.384p. ISBN 9780525952008. $26.95. F
Father Joe is up to no good with his precious vampire bats, but Sean Ozburn doesn't know that when he befriends him. Sean is a reliable agent with the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), and his colleague Charlie Hood trusts him totally. But working undercover takes its toll, and now Sean's gone rogue, attacking the Mexican drug cartel on his own terms. Is Sean suffering from delusions of grandeur, or is his personality change caused by something more sinister? Meanwhile, young L.A. deputy Bradley Jones exerts his power, balancing his day job while conspiring with another branch of the cartel. Bradley's arrogance (he's a descendant of the infamous bandit Joaquin Murrieta) is breathtaking, and his devious plans complicate Charlie's operations. With no time to waste, Charlie is soon scrambling from remote airstrips to resorts in a desperate attempt to save lives. The devil is very much present in this troubled landscape, and he's the ultimate shape-shifter, as Parker has so adeptly proven with his Charlie Hood titles.
VERDICT Parker's dark and gritty series takes readers beyond the drug war headlines, personalizing the toll it's taken on our souls. Series fans will devour this sequel to Iron River. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10.]
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