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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review: The Death of Josseline

“She was a little girl with a big name, Josseline Jamileth Hernandez Quinteros.” Thanks to Margaret Regan no one who reads ‘The Death of Josseline’ will ever forget her.

Regan takes the tragic death of this fourteen year old undocumented migrant and weaves it though a series of chapters that deal with a variety of immigration border issues in Arizona. With the astute view point of a journalist, Regan takes several of her previously reported stories in the Tucson Weekly, and fleshes them out with her personal experiences traveling with both the Border Patrol and various activists to document the stories of the migrant, and today’s current headlines. She allows us to see through the eyes of the traveler the reasons they risk their lives in the harsh Sonoran desert environment and brutal heat of the Arizona summer to reach the ‘promised land’ in order to make a better life for themselves.

We hear from all the players in the cast from conservationists, activists, border agents, vigilantes, border land owners and the migrants themselves as Regan provides a cache all of comments. We get her unbiased view of the triple whammy: “habitat fragmentation, funneling of migrants, border enforcement” and see how we as a people have tied each others hands in a desperate fight to secure our borders to the South.

No matter you personal feelings in this ongoing trial by fire one thing stands out above all else. These migrants are human first and foremost and illegal as a secondary thought and do not deserve to die in their flight to freedom. Regan’s portrayal is at once insightful and sympathetic in its telling; one that deserves to read by all humanity.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review: Immaculate Deception

When the Navajo half-caste, Blue Sky, high on his last hit of heroin, stumbled into the Flannery household murder was the last thing on his mind. His unanticipated actions began the lengthy trail that Tucson attorney, Bill Wilson, ends up taking to the Arizona Supreme Court in order to prevail in a history making case against the Sheriff of Pima County.

Simultaneously his partner, Larry Ross, is engrossed in his latest claim against a national automobile manufacturer in order to provide three orphaned children several million dollars in sustainable income.

In his second novel, Rockafellow, a practicing personal injury lawyer, is at his best spinning this courtroom melodrama. By the time he has cast his jury we are fully immersed in the trials (sic) and tribulations if these two hard working attorneys. The descriptions of the local Tucson scene are accurate and interesting, especially to those of us that live in the Old Pueblo.

Without giving it away the book turns on one major twist that will keep you enthralled in this legal thriller and make you wonder is everyone who they appear to be. Rockafellow does a great job of throwing us enough red-herrings, intrigue, mystery, conflict and courtroom drama to make this a page turner to the last.

Review: Sins of the Border

Entertaining chic-lit whodunit. The Catholic Girls club members defend a member of their intimate friends group who is suspected in the murder of a local artist with ties to La Causa por Immigrates.

Four middle-aged Scottsdale princesses with a need to add something more substantial to their lives that spending their socialite husband’s money fall back upon their past careers in journalism to investigate and track the real murderer. Kohler's debut effort produces a story line that weaves through the dark side of life in Arizona, even if the closest we ever get to the real border that separates America and Mexico is Tucson. I had hoped we might find ourselves trailing through Nogales but one of the girls would probably have broken a manicured fingernail if they had ever gotten that close to the real thing. Instead they admire the border efforts from afar and throw money toward the cause.

This improbable gaggle of misfits housewives manage to find away to confuse the local police, go under cover with the local vigilante group, solve the murder and still pull of a weekend at the spa to relax. Incredible, and enjoyable down to the last sip of their flavored martinis.

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