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El Camino del Rio
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0826319904, Hardcover)Frank Waters was one of the best writers ever to catch the complex essence of the American Southwest. His books--The Man Who Killed the Deer, People of the Valley, The Woman at Otowi Crossing--are still widely read, and the University of New Mexico sponsors an annual writing contest in his name. Jim Sanderson, who teaches English at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, won the 1997 Waters Award for this tough, compassionate first novel about a U.S. Border Patrol agent named Dolph Martinez. A compact man with a Mexican father and an American mother, Martinez struggles daily with the conflicting instincts of himself and his two countries.
El Camino Del Rio is based in the depressing Texas backwater town of Presidio. Living in a seedy, failed resort hotel, Martinez keeps his ambition and intelligence in check and patrols the country around El Camino del Rio--Highway 170, which runs close to the Rio Grande. Near the body of a murdered drug runner, Martinez finds a small vial of blue liquid, the same magic charm pressed into his own hand by a feisty nun named Sister Quinn when he was badly wounded four years before. Sister Quinn seems to be involved with smuggling illegal aliens, especially political ones, into the U.S., but Martinez has never been able to catch her. Now she also appears to be part of a scheme by the Mexican government to capture a renegade named Vincent Fuentes. Also caught up in the action is a tall, striking blonde woman with an equally mysterious agenda, and a gallery of rogues from both sides of the border. Frank Waters would have approved of Sanderson's ability to capture the atmosphere while sustaining a strong narrative. --Dick Adler
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:19 -0400)
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