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Tequila Sunset Paperback – November 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846688531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846688539
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,526,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The border between El Paso and Juárez is a conduit for drugs moving from Mexico to the U.S. and for guns moving in the opposite direction. Hawken sets this tense thriller on that violence-riddled fault line, following the activities of Flip Morales, an ex-con reluctantly working for the Azteca gang; Christina Salas, an El Paso cop in the anti-gang unit; and Matias Segura, a Mexican federal agent who has teamed with the FBI to bring down Los Aztecas on both sides of the border. The drug war wears an agonizingly human face in the drama that unfolds, as Hawken shows us the personal lives of his main characters and makes clear the toll that border life takes on the individuals trapped in its web. Finally, though, this is a thriller and a very good one. Tension builds inexorably, as we creep closer to the inevitable final conflagration. Hawken’s understated but razor-sharp prose never gets in the way of the building tension, but the focus remains not on issues but on the people who are pulled into conflict, as if by the magnetic field of the border itself. Powerful stuff. --Bill Ott --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"'Hawken trades in gritty realism' (Irish Times) 'His debut novel is a hard-boiled plunge into damaged lives that grippingly evokes the dust, decay and pervading sense of death in Juarez, leaving you with a lingering sense of sweaty unease' (Metro) 'A tense, gripping read and a plea for justice' (Sunday Times)"

More About the Author

Sam Hawken is a novelist whose mainstream publishing career began in 2011 with the publication in the United Kingdom of THE DEAD WOMEN OF JUÁREZ, a crime novel that used the real-life tragedy of female homicides in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez as the stepping-off point for a story of corruption, despair and redemption. It was shortlisted by the Crime Writers Association for the John Creasy New Blood Dagger.

TEQUILA SUNSET followed in 2012, returning once again to Ciudad Juárez and its sister city, El Paso, Texas. This time Hawken drew upon the legacy of the infamous gang Barrio Azteca, at one time responsible for over 80% of the murders in Juárez, formerly the murder capital of the world. Once again, the Crime Writers Association recognized Hawken's work, nominating TEQUILA SUNSET for the Gold Dagger (best crime novel of the year).

Trained as an historian, Sam Hawken leans on his academic background to create books with solid connections to the real world, while also telling human stories. Though he no longer counts Texas as his home, he has not left the American Southwest behind. His third traditionally published novel, LA FRONTERA, appeared in December 2013, with a fourth, MISSING, coming in 2014.

When not writing, Hawken is a husband and the father of a son with autism. He is active in autism- and special needs-related causes, including Autism Speaks and the Special Olympics. He especially encourages donations to the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

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"Sam Hawken has been slowly but surely making his presence known in the crime fiction community over the past few years[.] If you're not reading Hawken's work yet, get on it now." ~~ Elizabeth A. White

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By steve shadow schwartz on June 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
Though I much preferred Hawken's first novel, The dead women of Juarez, this one is well done and well written. Offering us three main characters from two different countries, the story chugs slowly and grimly ahead on well used tracks.. Oddly enough the main character Flip was, at least for me, the one that was not very convincing. While I am no expert on drug cartel ring leaders or their assassins, Flip just did not seem to exhibit any traits that would lead me to trust him as Jose, the gang lord, does. Also Graciela, his girl friend hardly seems the stuff a gang girl is made of. The real heroes of the book are the two cops. Christina Salas, an El Paso cop and Matias Segura, a Juarez police officer. Also Flip's mother and her boyfriend truly and believably represent the goodness found in so many Mexican-Americans . Despite my reservations I cannot deny the skill with which the story is both structured and told. I spent 6 months in El Paso many years ago and often was in Juarez. Hawken uses both settings faithfully and makes them characters in the story. Highly recommended for those that want a fast moving picture of criminal life on the border told in a realistic manner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd Retired. on April 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sam Hawken has done it again. This book starts fast and grips the reader from start to end. Hawken has a writing style that brings the characters to life and allows the reader a glimpse beyond the action and into the lives of each character. Throughout this book I felt like I knew what was going to happen only to find out I didn't. I deeply enjoyed Camaro Run series, and expected this book to be well written, but was pleasantly surprised when it exceeded my expectations.

Will the good guys win or will they die? Will the bad guys find redemption or will they die? You will have to read this wonderful novel to find out. If action and drama mixed with gritty border town flavor are your thing you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ripple on November 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Sam Hawken's "Tequila Sunset" is a gang land crime novel set across the border between the US and Mexico. The story centers on three people: Flip Morales is a young Latino American who gets somewhat unwillingly caught up in the Barrio Azteca gang after a stint in prison; Cristina Salas is an El Paso police officer - a single mother with an autistic child; and Matías Segura is a Mexican federal agent based in Ciudad Juárez with marriage issues. When the FBI launch a sting to catch the Azteca gang, all three will become involved with each other in a struggle against violence.

"Tequila Sunset" has many similarities with Hawken's first novel, "The Dead Women of Juárez" but also some notable differences. Style-wise, Hawken's short chapters and short sentences keep the pace fast moving much like in "Dead Women", and the setting and general issues are similar of course, although "Tequila Sunset" is set more in El Paso than in Mexico. There's also similar gripping intensity and moments of violence.

However, while "Dead Women" tackled a very specific issue, that of the extreme number of female homicides in Juárez, "Tequila Sunset" is more general in the issues of gangland culture and arms for drugs trade. And while I'm still haunted by the memory of the gruelling, angry, dark intensity of reading "Dead Women", his second novel contains more light as well as shade and is more balanced as a result. That's not to suggest Hawken has gone soft - he hasn't. There's still plenty of graphic violence when it is needed, but he lets in more space for personal issues here.

It's a fast moving and well plotted story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen D. Metcalfe on February 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
to explore. I haven't read literature from this part of the world before and the settings creat a whole new range of imagery in one's imagination.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hector on January 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first came across Sam Hawken's work via DEAD WOMEN OF JUAREZ. I'd lived in both Juarez and El Paso back in my younger days, and the idea of a hardboiled story in that setting appealed to me. DEAD WOMEN ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, largely because it did a great job of portraying Juarez, while at the same time telling a really good story with two interesting leads. And without spoiling anything, I thought that it also took some ballsy chances in the way it told the story.

So as soon as I was able to, I picked his follow up TEQUILA SUNSET. Like like DEAD WOMEN, this one also takes place in the U.S/Mexico border, but the focus is more on El Paso this time. Also like DEAD WOMEN, the story is divided between multiple characters. Felipe 'Flip' Morales is a young man recently released from prison and caught between leading a normal life and the pull of the Azteca gang and their leader Jose. Cristina Salas is an El Paso police officer rasising a single kid who, while I don't believe ever specifically mentioned, seemes to be autistic. And finally, we have Matis Segura, who as a Mexican officer provides a view of the way the Mexican police force deals with gangs on their side, and has some of the more violent chapters earlier on.

While the story is told through the point of view of all three of these characters, I felt like the stronger narrative lied with Flip. Early on, he seemed a bit of a cypher, as his chapters felt a bit detached, but the more he gets used to the life outside of prison, and more importantly, becomes integrated into the Azteca gang and meets a girl he likes, the deeper I began to understand him. His chapters also provided the most tension, as before long we start to see how being pulled from two separate sides starts to affect him.
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