Friday, January 6, 2012

The Jaguar-T. Jefferson Parker

The Jaguar

T. Jefferson Parker

Dutton, Jan 10 2012, $26.95

ISBN 9780525952572

Gulf Cartel leader Benjamin Armenta kidnaps songwriter Erin McKenna. He takes her to his dilapidated El Castillo where he orders her to compose a narcocoriddo folk song highlighting the legend of Benjamin Armenta as the greatest Mexican felon of all time. He also orders Erin’s husband Los Angeles sheriff’s department deputy Bradley Jones to give him a million dollars within 10 days as a fee for causing him problems; failure to meet his terms of apology means his pregnant spouse will be skinned alive and fed to Armenta’s menagerie starting with the jaguar.

Frantic Jones, a transporter for a rival cartel since he was a teen, desperately turns to his adversarial rival at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office deputy Charlie Hood to help him rescue his wife as he has no way of paying the bounty. Charlie has a reputation well earned from his ATF loaner days (Iron River and The Border Lords) so is Hood’s only hope when he goes on his quest to save his wife and their unborn.

The key to powerful rescue thriller is that the brutal Armenta is not just 200-proof evil, but comes across as a wicked human with different values. Hood is terrific as he knows the risks to save Erin, but does so anyway. Although Finnegan is an unnecessary attempt to lighten the dark tale with bathroom-capitalism, fans will appreciate the rescue attempt.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: