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Triple Crossing: A Novel Hardcover – August 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; 1 edition (August 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316105309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316105309
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is one of the most accomplished first novels I have ever read. Triple Crossing is full of dangers, deep characters and a story writ on a grand scale."—Michael Connelly

"An honest and engrossing journey into a world of violence and corruption....Rotella knows how the police work, how the criminals operate and how bribes and violence subvert the law. He employs a journalist's sharp eye and a novelist's deft touch to give us a rich portrait of the sights, smells, sounds, beauties, and dangers of life south of the border."—Patrick Anderson, Washington Post

"A remarkable first novel....The pounding action scenes are driven by Rotella's ferocious prose style."—New York Times Book Review

"The reader will be racing along through the pages of Rotella's novel at near break-neck speed."—Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News

"Superb fiction debut....Unflinching views of a double agent's harrowing life, a violence-drenched Mexican jail, and the wild border areas complement the provocative plot."—Publishers Weekly

"A strongly choreographed, authentically detailed, and sharply funny tale of cultural complexity and raging global criminality."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

"A fast-paced thriller that rings true to the real story behind the political posturing over the drug war, illegal immigration, and border security."—Kirkus

"Rotella's crime drama captures the feel of the rampant corruption that is the stuff of headlines in the United States and Mexico. This should satisfy readers far beyond the border."—Eric Norton, Library Journal

"Rotella's profound understanding of the many hidden worlds of the border takes this thriller into the realms of nightmare and exquisite terror."—Luis Urrea, author of Into the Beautiful North

About the Author

Sebastian Rotella is an author and award-winning senior reporter for Propublica, an independent organization dedicated to investigative journalism. He covers issues including international terrorism, organized crime, homeland security and immigration. Previously, he worked for 23 years for the Los Angeles Times, serving as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and covering the Mexican border. He was a Pulitzer finalist in international reporting in 2006. He is the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Norton), which was named a New York Times Notable Book in 1998.

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Customer Reviews

The issues are real and well explored.
Jeffrey A. Cohen
With his life in jeopardy, Pescatore does his best to keep the blurry lines between right and wrong straight as he works to keep his cover.
Mark P. Sadler
An intriguing plot combined with nice suspense makes Triple Crossing a fun, action filled novel.
Melissa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Toni Osborne on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This novel tells the story about the pursuit of justice by law enforcement on both sides of the U.S. and the Mexican border. It explores and dramatizes the violence and corruption in the drug trade and the human smuggling while at the same time honoring the honest Border Patrol agents on both sides who resist the cartels and often pay a heavy price.

This fast paced thriller has two heroes: working the trenches between San Diego and Tijuana is Valentine Pascatore, a no-nonsense Border Patrol agent of Mexican and Argentine descent. On the side is Leo Mendez, a reformist chief of an elite Mexican police unit known as the Diogenes Group. Most of the narrative alternates between these two protagonists, sometimes it is very tedious and a challenge to follow, some knowledge of Spanish would definitely have been an asset.

Pascatore takes great pride in his position as a border agent, a real pit-bull on the job with of soft side slipping at times as few dollars to illegals to tie them over till they are returned home. His aggressiveness attracts the attention of Isabel Puente, an agent with the U.S. Inspector General's Office who wants to utilize him as an undercover agent to infiltrate the most powerful Mexican crime syndicate. Pascatore accepts the challenge and things goes well at first till one day a disastrous incident puts him on the run. Wrongly accused of murdering a police officer and not wanting to blow his cover he carries on with his assignment in the Triple Border area of South America, a no man's land where any wrong move could be fatal.

The plot is intense with plenty of suspense and action while it follows the hair-raising life of a double agent trying to walk the fine line between good and evil. The emotions expressed by the main characters and the secondary ones are quite credible. Although the narrative passages are highly dynamic the fine details I was missing became overwhelming at times and maintaining focus was a challenge.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Someone Else TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an intelligent thriller written by a guy with an impressive background in journalism.

You can cross Tijuana off your list of vacation destinations. The same goes for the "Triple Border" where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina all connect. That is, of course, unless you like the sound of gunfire and the sight of dead bodies and the smell of alcoholic drug addicts. In that case, be my guest. Be sure to pack your body armor.

Triple Crossing takes you into the chaotic world of corrupt border politics, law enforcement, and the powerful, violent groups of many nationalities that control smuggling operations. Loyalties are always changing on both sides of the border, and treachery is the rule.

Valentine Pescatore is a young Border Patrol agent who has gotten himself into a heap of trouble on the job. As an alternative to criminal charges, he agrees to go undercover in Mexico for a U.S. investigative agency. But once ensconced, he seems to be playing for the wrong team. Has he gone renegade? And how the heck does he end up way down in South America, where things are even messier than in Tijuana?

The end of the story may leave you still unsure who is sincere and who is a scumbag, which is probably an accurate reflection of life in that milieu. In that sense, the book's title could have a double (or triple?) meaning.
Sebastian Rotella's journalistic excellence is evident throughout. His need to inform is sometimes detrimental to plot pacing, but adds a welcome realism to the events.

This one should appeal to a good variety of readers in the genre. It has enough testosterone to keep the gents happy, but not enough blood and guts to scare away the ladies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Cohen on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Triple Crossing is a great read. The writing is excellent. The author knows his subject matter. The issues are real and well explored. The plot is engrossing--much is at stake. The action is exciting. I really, really enjoyed this novel. With all of the above and Rotella's gifts for dialogue and describing body language, you read this book feeling in great hands. Get ready for some great thrills and to respect yourself in the morning.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Simon on August 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Award winning Journalist Sebastian Rotella has just published a searingly good first crime novel. I have been a fan since following his journalism covering the US-Mexico border for the LA times (His reporting from the border was openly acknowledged by Bruce Springsteen as one of the inspirations for the brilliant Ghost of Tom Joad album), and then his often stranger than fiction reporting from Latin America and more recently the scary zones of international crime and terrorism. Rotella's recent reporting for Pro Publica and the Washington Post on the bizarre American connection to the Mumbai massacres was as mind-blowing as journalism gets. I check his pro publica page regularly. Anyone who enjoys Micheal Connelly's work, James Ellroy, B. Traven, the American hard boiled tradition in general, or simply likes beautifully written, intensely observed, thematically important and just plain gripping fiction should check it out.

Who says great beach reading can't make you think too?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Miller on July 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
The only reason for the four stars is that this is a first novel from the author, which gives the author more to aim for! I loved this book. Despite the heavy detail, the story moves quickly - which means this novel mimics life more than may be close for comfort. It is possible to nearly taste the meal that Rotella writes of when one of main characters is at a food stand. Especially appreciated is the skillful use of the third person omniscient voice, a perspective that puts the reader in the minds of characters as diverse as a major drug trafficker, border patrol agents and government investigators, as well as many different kinds of people - from Mexico City super copy to Border Control agent Pescatore from Chicago.

So there you have it - this is a four star review for what is actually a five star book, and only meant to ask the reader for a new Pescatore novel regarding this Chicago-native character, or maybe an Isabel Puente novel, Puente being the fascinating Cuban character that inspires Pescatore. I would hope he would consider more on a Puerto Rican character if possible who plays a lead role - but really, this is only meant to express that the author does so well and writes such a great book that the reader wants more and more and more. So let's hear it for an awesome debut novel.

Other recommended books from me:
Hector Tobar's Tattoed Soldier
Hector Tobar's Barbarian Nurseries
Patrick Symmes' Boys from Dolores
Silvana Paternostro's My Colombian War
Ron Suskind - anything from that guy
Lawrence Wright's Looming Tower
Patricia Engel's recent book
Junot Diaz' book on Oscar Wao [it's amazing just for what it attempts!]

And there you have it. Happy reading.
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More About the Author

Sebastian Rotella is an award-winning author, foreign correspondent and investigative journalist. His first novel, Triple Crossing, was named favorite debut crime novel and favorite action thriller of 2011 by the New York Times Sunday Book Review. His second novel, The Convert's Song, was published in December, 2014. He is also the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1998), which was named a New York Times Notable book. He has written two e-books: Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala (2012) and Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story (2011.) Since 2010, he has been a senior reporter based in Washington, D.C. for ProPublica, an investigative newsroom dedicated to journalism in the public interest. He previously worked at the Los Angeles Times, serving as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and as correspondent at the Mexican border. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2006. His work from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia has won honors including a Peabody Award; Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Award and Dart award for coverage of Latin America; the German Marshall Fund's Weitz Prize for excellence on reporting on European affairs; five awards from the Overseas Press Club and five awards from the Inter American Press Association; and the Urbino Press Award of Italy. He was correspondent and narrator for "A Perfect Terrorist," a television documentary on Frontline PBS that received an Emmy nomination. His reporting from the Mexican border inspired two songs on Bruce Springsteen's album The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and studied at the University of Barcelona. He speaks Spanish, French and Italian. He was born in Chicago.

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