As a journalist, Rotella tells it the way it is, straight talk, all facts about life south of the border. A Pulitzer finalist, he found many stories he could never fully substantiate, tales all fascinating but unprintable for a newspaper. Taking all these fables, gossip, innuendo, and rumors, he works them into a border story the likes of which you have never read and treats us to his debut novel.
Valentine Pescatore, a wannabe street punk from Chicago is given one last chance to straighten up his life and with the help of an uncle, has found his way to the Border Patrol. In his personal life he is a loose cannon; his supervisor’s a dirty cop and life is an alcohol-fueled thrill-a-minute. He receives a warning after he is suspected of chasing a cholo into Mexico, but finds himself given a reprieve if he rats out his supervisor.
Pescatore finds himself in a gunfight and ends up driving his wounded supervisor to the underworld bosses in Mexico, but once there can’t leave. He goes undercover, joining in the illegal activities and reaching out to agents in the US—when able—to let them know he is alive and working from deep inside the organization.
As the story progresses, we are introduced to the triple border, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, the heart of all smuggling, where Arabs and Chinese mix into the flow and money of illegal activities as they move up through Central America hitting the border we are all more familiar with.
With his life in jeopardy, Pescatore does his best to keep the blurry lines between right and wrong straight as he works to keep his cover. Suspecting he is playing the double-agent game, his superiors make arrangements to setup the gangsters; everyone comes in guns blazing. The final scenes will drop your jaw in amazement.
Rotella treats us to a wild ride into unfamiliar territory with the ferocity that the cartels hand out on the streets of Mexico; brutal, punishing, and final.