St. Martin's, Jul 2003, 23.95, 304 pp.
INS Agent Roscoe Brinker worked the border near Nogales when he was shot during an incident. He recovers, but is forced into retirement. To this day he believes one of his men either pulled the trigger or paid to have him shot, but he has no evidence against Sanchez. Instead, Brinker moved on and operates a private investigative firm out of Tucson.
Car dealer Mo Crain considers hiring Roscoe, but first asks the sleuth personal questions because he knows he needs someone who cares about loved ones to handle his case. The police have no leads into who killed Mo's philanthropic-activist wife. While standing besides her vehicle in a mall parking lot, someone shot Mo's spouse, but the killer failed to steal her car, jewelry, money or credit cards. Mo needs to know who and why so he engages Roscoe to find the answers that shockingly takes the sleuth full circle back to the border area where he was shot.
If LOVERS CROSSING is any indication of what readers can expect from debut author James C. Mitchell, fans of private investigative thrillers can expect some strong tales. The story line hooks the audience from the opening prologue when Roscoe as an INS Agent is shot until he completes his tracking of 900 miles in one week on the odometer of the car used by Mo's deceased wife. Readers will value this taut tale of illegal border dealings (not just crossings) that showcases a new talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner