The Paloma Crossing
by Randall Reneau

"As I’d predicted, Abbot was one cool customer and a hell of an actor. He let his shoulders droop and did his best Bill Clinton lip quiver. I about puked."

This contemporary potboiler keeps the kettle whistling from start to finish. From airborne assassinations to offshore degradations to ground-level confrontations, the missiles, bombs, and bullets fly as fast and furiously as the one-liners in this ode to escapism, excitement, and eccentricity. Multiple plot lines careen, cross, and somehow cohabitate effectively between the pages of this ode to slam-bang storytelling.

Steel is the sheriff of a county at the bottom of Texas where it doesn’t take long for the Rio Grande to run red with blood from those inside a Blackhawk helicopter blown from the sky by a Stinger missile. Are terrorists on the loose? Have the Mexican cartels graduated to even more deadly weaponry? And why does the sheriff have a bounty on his head—not just from down Mexico way but also from the highest echelons of the Cuban government? Before readers have all the insights into those interrogatives, both they and the sheriff are in the middle of gunfights on manicured estates, shoot-outs in upscale restaurants, and paramilitary operations on sun-kissed islands.

While keeping the pace paramount, author Reneau maintains a good feel for when to ease up on the action and accentuate the actors. His characters run the gamut from good old boys to international assassins to striking beauties and slimy bureaucrats. His ear for dialogue is finely tuned and liberally spiced with acerbic witticisms that make the first-person narrative of his protagonist sound authentic as well as astute. If one is looking for a tantalizing tale as steeped in style as it is in story, one should seriously consider this novel.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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