- 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 (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Triple Crossing: A Novel Hardcover – August 10, 2011
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"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Not dissimilar to Don Winslow's awesome Power of the Dog, this novel digs deep into the inter-agency (both U.S. and Mexican) battle against the drug cartels without getting too bogged down in statistics or history. Not that I'm opposed to statistics, but Rotella instead focuses on how government and criminal organizations work with and against one another. He focuses on who all the players are, the politics that defines the relationship between government, big business and powerful drug interests, and the psychology that defines the people at the heart of the drama.
Rotella also does a wonderful job creating a complex central character who is neither hero or anti-hero, Border Patrol agent Valentine Pescatore. His motivations are present from the start, but we don't fully appreciate how those could manifest until the end of this gripping novel.
If you like Don Winslow, George Pelecanos, John Gregory Dunne or Dennis Lehane, I think you'll really enjoy Triple Crossing. One of the best crime novels I've read the last couple years.
So many interesting questions arise when America builds a huge fence around our southern border. Is the purpose of this great fence to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, guns, drugs supposedly coming through Tijuana into the SanDiego area? Or is it to protect Mexicans from the horrendous "thumping" administered by many of the Border Agents? Who suffers when lawmakers turn a blind eye to human suffering in order to line their own pockets? Are there ANY good guys (or women) in this story, or are they all part of a plot? How long can people play fast and loose with the law, pretending to be part of some bizarre old west scenario? Will the sympathetic mexican agent win the day? Will the highly corrupted local, state and federal police on both sides of the fence get what's coming to them? If you enjoyed novels such as MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, WINTER'S BONE and BEAT THE REAPER then pounce now before it becomes a movie and everyone is talking about it......
The author is an expert user of words. For example, on one page ..."a hunched trainer scuttled...", ..."Junior roamed the ring...". And later, "...Junior tossed his head, geysering sweat."
Believe me, the housework suffered while I was reading this spellbinding book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Valentin is a great character, the author brings the two main locations to life.Published 6 months ago by Ed Ward
This novel is a beautifully written, compelling, wonderfully nuanced political thriller. Once you start reading it, it's impossible to put down.Published 16 months ago by Doctor Hartnell
Some taut writing but too many cliches-- even for the genre.Published 19 months ago by Ken Eskenazi
Some books just grab you right away and pull you in, the sort of "can't put down" reads. This one wasn't one of those types of books, at least not for me. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
If you live on the border with Mexico this rings a bell of what the drug business is all about. Fast read, good plot line and a keeper. No wonder I tell my grandkids "... Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by hearth and home
Living in San Diego, I thought the book was so fascinating. The triple crossing was something I never knew about. Read morePublished on October 30, 2013 by Karis Chodzko
Valentine Pescatore, after got into trouble in his native Chicago, moved closer to the Mexican border in San Diego, where he began to work as a Border Patrol Agent. Read morePublished on October 25, 2013 by Ray Garraty