- File Size: 2203 KB
- Print Length: 245 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Jay Lemming, Author; 1 edition (April 13, 2016)
- Publication Date: April 13, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01E83ZBLM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,860 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Billy Maddox Takes His Shot: A Literary Novel (Maddox Men Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
When Billy was a child growing up on a ranch in Cochise County, Arizona, his younger brother was killed in a shootout between the Border Patrol and drug mules from Mexico. His father Hector came to hate the illegals that crossed his land, and eventually drew publicity for shooting one of them in self defense. After that, his mother and father sold the family ranch and retreated to Tucson, and Billy’s family was never the same again. Billy was brought up to hate Mexicans and the death of his brother became a taboo subject in their household, leaving Billy with a lot of inner turmoil and anger.
Billy is now 23 years old, married and has his own child. He loves his family and wants to be a good husband and father, but his hot temper has kept him from being able to successfully hold down a job. His wife has grown impatient with his failures, and she has given him one last chance to make things work before she takes their young son and leaves.
With all this baggage hanging over him, Billy embarks on his new career, trying to fit in and make a place for himself. He knows that he could be setting himself up for a great failure, and he will need to fight his demons every step of the way. Then, just when tensions at home get even worse, Billy finds himself exposed to the very real dangers of being a Border Patrol agent when he and his partner are pursued by drug traffickers and caught up in a deadly shootout.
When I read the description of this book, I was very interested. I am an Arizona native, born in Tucson and this, along with the fact that the border situation is an ongoing controversy for all of us who live here in Arizona, grabbed my attention right way. Even though the book takes place in 1999, immigration is still very much a hot topic across the country, as witnessed in the recent presidential election. America’s population has become very torn on their feelings towards illegal immigration. I was very surprised to find that the author, Jay Lemming doesn’t live anywhere near the border. But he has done his research, and he does a great job here of touching on some of the opposing perspectives when it comes to illegal immigration.
There’s a lot to like about this book. As I’ve said, it’s culturally and politically relevant to our times, but the fact that it’s about a border patrol agent also makes it unique. There is also a riveting action scene. But what I liked the most is that the author takes a keen look at the American family dynamic. He touches on the very real human emotions, insecurities and struggles that take place within families. I was very caught up in how Billy’s family and friends interacted with each other. Even though the story is told from Billy’s POV, I felt as if I could relate to each and every person and what they were feeling. This book is well worth the read.
I want to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
Highly recommend. Caution: language.
Billy is the kind of character that you root for and want to like, but he keeps doing things that make you smack your forehead and yell "What are you DOING?" Anger issues brought about by his troubled past continue to derail his best intentions - one step forward, one step back. To add to the suspense and drama, as one part of his life starts to go well (his work as a border guard), another aspect (his family life) falls apart. You feel sorry for him and angry at him at the same time (because he, as much as circumstance, is responsible for the problems).
Jay provides meticulous setting description of the US - Mexico border in southeastern Arizona. It's a place I've never been but I have a good mental picture of where everything took place. If I have one suggestion, it would be that a few of the descriptions are a little too detailed and slow down the progress of the book (the initial description of the Golden Burro comes to mind).
There is not much physical action (which is OK; that's not the intention of the book) until late in the book, but when it starts it really happens. I liked the change of pace of this section; it kind of startled me and made me more desperate to find out what was going to happen.
I enjoyed reading this book and found it to be a poignant insight into the mind of a person with issues that wouldn't be readily apparent to the casual observer. It was a good read and I would definitely recommend it to others.
Billy Maddox Takes His Shot is a literary novel with a tricky title: it has at least three meanings. There’s the obvious slang meaning of attempting to do something, in Billy’s case getting and keeping a job; there’s the meaning of shooting a gun, as the Border Patrol agent has occasion to defend against an attack from narcotraficantes, or drug traffickers; and possibly even the third meaning of actually getting shot.
Lemming ratchets up the tension as the novel progresses, so don’t let the description of the book as "literary" or "coming-of-age" turn you away if you’re looking for an exciting read. Billy struggles with the murder of his brother, which takes place long before the novel’s action takes place, and he’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. His relationship with his daddy’s-little-girl wife is a source of tension just as much as his potentially fiery relationships with his co-workers, parents, and pretty much everyone he encounters. Nonetheless, because the novel is presented from Billy’s point of view, he remains all-too-human throughout.
Thanks to Lemming’s thorough research, the story and characters remain realistic throughout. I was surprised to learn that the author has never worked for the Border Patrol himself, as the novel feels as though it must have some autobiographical element. An excellent, heartfelt book.