Fleeing the Past: The Delta Tango Trilogy, Book One
by Christopher LaGrone
Morgan James Publishing

"Until this moment he had failed to grasp the essence of what he was becoming involved in. How dire must their situation have been to choose to place all their possessions into a backpack and walk to a different country?"

Seeking a fresh start to escape from his troubled past, Layne Sheppard chooses to apply to the Border Patrol Academy in hopes of graduating and getting a stable job working as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol. Little does he know that graduating, let alone getting accepted into the Academy, will be more daunting than he could have ever imagined. Using his own experience in the U.S. Border Patrol, LaGrone paints a detailed and intimidating picture of the physical and mental hardships that must be painstakingly endured in order to work as an agent.

Although the reader is not privy to the past that Layne wishes to flee, his past drug use, a drinking problem, and ever-present insecurities hint at the life he might have lived before wanting to change. As he fights his bad habits to survive and succeed at the Academy, he can be a difficult character to root for, considering his opinions are often racially biased and arrogant. However, this characterization is subject to change after he meets Felina, an illegal immigrant who was brought over the border as an infant. Though he meets Felina late into the book, being the first in a trilogy hints at the complications to come in the following books that will challenge his perception of immigration and stereotypes.

Furthermore, women are often sexualized in the few encounters where they are present in this first volume. However, the few chapters that are in Felina’s point of view provide the lens of a woman who wants to fight racial stereotypes by going to college and living differently than her relatives. Both her struggle to become a legal immigrant and Layne’s battle to succeed in his field are likely to clash in the sequel.

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