Soho, 2002, 12.00, 293 pp.
Perhaps California border patrol cop James Reese understands the “line” separating his home state from Mexico better than most people because he is a mixed blood having a Mexican mother and an Anglo father. As part of a smoking team flushing out the human “coyotes” from their hiding places in the border desert, James almost dies when his equipment malfunctions. He wonders if peer Leo Tutrone sabotaged his apparatus because of Mercedes, who was the former's girlfriend but is now married to the latter.
Reese soon has more reasons to suspect Leo is up to no good when he learns that his rival has ties to deadly coyote Richard “Anteater” Serrano. Reese investigates the Anteater, who was a key player in the conviction of Reese's biological father for murdering a pregnant woman. Reese believes that his now deceased father was framed by the Anteater and his odious associates, but why and where does Leo fit in is what he wants to know.
This is a delightful police procedural due to the solid underpinning (brilliantly described by Karen Palmer) of the ever going “war” between the coyotes and the border cops. The strong cast makes the tale as readers will feel the desert border through both sides f the line. Especially solid is the hero who struggles in his personal life, wonders if a colleague is betraying him, and has a vendetta against a certain nasty coyote. All this supports a fun investigation that will send readers like this reviewer seeking Ms. Palmer's first novel, ALL SAINTS.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner