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Redback (A John Marquez Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Kirk Russell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Fourth novel in the highly-acclaimed John Marquez crime series - Eighteen years ago, Special Agent John Marquez was forced to watch as his informant, Billy Takado, was gunned down, the victim of a set-up by criminal mastermind Emrahain Stoval. In the fallout from the affair, Marquez lost his job. Now, working for California's Department of Fish and Games, John is contacted by a former colleague. Ted Desault is determined to take Stoval down, but to do that, he needs Marquez's help . . .


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* DEA agent John Marquez is principled but often conflicted, tough but committed to his job. So when a meeting with one of Mexico’s biggest drug dealers, the Salazar Cartel, ends in disaster, John is devastated. He knows the Salazars aren’t the ones to blame—the mysterious Emrahain Stoval was behind the fiasco. John wants revenge, but before he can start his search for Stoval, his bosses at the DEA threaten to fire him because of “renegade” behavior. Before that happens, John resigns. At loose ends, he signs on with the Special Operations Unit of the California Department of Fish and Game. Nearly 20 years later, he finds himself in yet another nightmarish disaster that centers around Stoval and opens up all the old wounds and memories from decades ago. Offered the chance to go after Stoval, John doesn’t think twice. Readers looking for a superbly crafted, cleverly plotted, highly suspenseful thriller with a larger-than-life hero need look no further than Redback—or, indeed, the entire John Marquez series. Outstanding! --Emily Melton

Review

DEA agent John Marquez is principled but often conflicted, tough but committed to his job. So when a meeting with one of Mexico's biggest drug dealers, the Salazar Cartel, ends in disaster, John is devastated. He knows the Salazars aren't the ones to blame--the mysterious Emrahain Stoval was behind the fiasco. John wants revenge, but before he can start his search for Stoval, his bosses at the DEA threaten to fire him because of "renegade" behavior. Before that happens, John resigns. At loose ends, he signs on with the Special Operations Unit of the California Department of Fish and Game. Nearly 20 years later, he finds himself in yet another nightmarish disaster that centers around Stoval and opens up all the old wounds and memories from decades ago. Offered the chance to go after Stoval, John doesn't think twice. Readers looking for a superbly crafted, cleverly plotted, highly suspenseful thriller with a larger-than-life hero need look no further than Redback--or, indeed, the entire John Marquez series. Outstanding! --Booklist Starred Review, 1st December 2010

At the start of Russell's thrilling fourth John Marquez novel (after Deadgame), DEA special agent Marquez and an informant, Billy Takado, meet brothers Luis and Miguel Salazar, members of "the most violent cartel in Mexico," in a Baja California bull ring as part of an undercover drug operation. When Miguel executes Takado as a warning, Marquez takes the blame and is forced to leave the DEA. Two decades later, as an agent for the California Department of Fish and Game, Marquez discovers that wealthy poacher Emrahain Stoval was the ruthless criminal behind Takado's murder and is now the target of a special FBI task force. Even though the choice jeopardizes his family and stirs dark memories, Marquez becomes a temporary FBI agent to pursue the cunning predator. Meanwhile, he realizes that someone he knows and trusts must be leaking information to Stoval. The tension rises as the unpredictable plot skitters and jitters along, powered by smoothly understated prose. --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, December 6, 2010

Product Details

  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Digital; Reprint edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051PE3SE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,039 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best One Yet! November 14, 2011
Format:Paperback
Having read all of Kirk Russell's previous work starring undercover Fish and Game Officer John Marquez, I happily immersed myself in "Redback," where Marquez is temporarily assigned to the Feds. There, his experience with Fish and Game make him an invaluable asset in tracking a murderous entrepreneur who deals in drugs as well as illegal trophy hunting, which ultimately leads to his downfall.
In this book, Russell educates the reader in environmental issues without being preachy, while also captivating him with inside information on drug cartels and the politics of federal law enforcement.
I love the protagonist, John Marquez. Russell brings him to life as family issues and a strong moral compass clash, creating a myriad of problems for him to deal with. This is Russell's best work yet, and I look forward to many more...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tight, consistent, well-written crime novel July 31, 2011
Format:Paperback
I stumbled onto Kirk Russell at my local library when I was loading up on books for a vacation trip. I didn't expect much from a crime series, so I was surprised to discover Russell's DEA agent John Marquez was such a well-constructed and interesting character. Lots of books are described as "page turners," but Kirk Russell's "Redback" really is the rare kind of book that I can't put down until I've finished it. Even more rare, when I finished "Redback" I was sorry it's over.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the summer of 1989, John Marquez was a Special Agent working as the leader of a DEA team along the border between California and Mexico. It's a brutal, dangerous job and you never know who you can trust. As part of an undercover operation, Marquez picks up an informant named Billy Takedo and sets off to meet representatives of a vicious Mexican drug cartel in a bull ring near Tijuana. But the operation goes awry and the Mexicans shoot Takedo point-blank in front of Marquez. The Mexican Federal Judicial Police, who are supposed to be backing up Marquez, are nowhere in evidence.

Marquez understands that the man behind Takedo's murder is a mysterious figure named Emrahin Stoval, who moves money and performs other services for the cartels. Marquez is determined to bring Stoval down, but is hampered by bureaucracy and red tape. Additionally, someone has to be the fall guy for the failed operation and, not surprisingly, it turns out to be Marquez. He resigns from the DEA before he can be fired, but his career in the DEA is over.

Marquez ultimately finds a home in the California Department of Fish and Game and builds a second successful career in the Special Operations Unit, tracking poachers. But eighteen years after the debacle in Tijuana, Emrahain Stoval intrudes again into Marquez's life.

Even after all this time, the FBI has been unable to arrest and prosecute Stoval for his drug-related activities. But they've learned that Stoval is a passionate hunter and animal trafficker, and they hope to be able to make a case against him for these activities that will finally bring him to justice. This is on the order, I guess, of finally nailing Al Capone for income tax evasion.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Redback" is is strong, taut crime novel with a wholly realistic perspective and confidant grip that will pull you in and in. As the fourth "John Marquez eco-thriller", "Redback" both fills in some of the main character's past and pulls us forward as Marquez moves from the California DFG's covert unit to a more global role. This is my third reading of this novel, and I am finding it stronger and better crafted than I had thought before. I've always come to "Redback" from the first three Marquez books and had felt the change in approach and in pacing slightly off-step, but I was wrong. The parts of "Redback" are carefully crafted to work as powerful units that ultimately resonate well together. Also, this is a book about loss, past and present, about respecting those losses without any morbidity, without any defeatism, and moving forward, still, somehow. But, then, aren't all of Kirk Russell's Marquez books written in that resonating musical key? Read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Redback September 16, 2011
Format:Paperback
I did the same thing as the other reviewer - went to the library and discovered Kirk Russell. The unfolding of the story and the eventual resolution over years of events kept me glued to this book for the whole week. The truth of the drug cartel world (intimidating!) and the hardship of working for the government - be it the DEA or the Fish & Game department - shows how much Kirk Russell knows about life in these situations. His description of the conversations, accusations, and recriminations among the officers hits a nerve in me. Yes, he jumps around in the plot and seems to skip details spanning years in the lives of some of the characters. But he ties the events together neatly and keeps the book to a length that is most enjoyable. I almost forgot all about the Eurozone crisis, the DOA job bill, the highest US poverty level in decades...etc. you get the drift: I got lost in the book and was "entertained". I am looking forward to reading more of his books!
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More About the Author

I'm an inveterate reader. I'll read across the board but as a writer crime fiction hooked me for the way the genre let's you write at something morally ambiguous without getting stranded in it. You can write a novel that moves, and keeps moving. I've written six crime novels. In Shell Games, Night Game, Dead Game, and Redback, a California Fish and Game lieutenant is running an undercover team called the Special Operations Unit. Two more recent, A Killing in China Basin and Counterfeit Road, are with a San Francisco homicide inspector. Most all of it is in country I know, but none of it would have worked without the help of the real life Fish and Game undercover team and two San Francisco homicide inspectors. Which is another good thing about crime fiction. You can flirt with reality and if it works end up with a story that feels like it might have really happened.

Kirk Russell has two daughters. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, Judy Rodgers, co-owner and chef of San Francisco's Zuni Cafe.For more visit kirkrussellbooks.com

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