Booklocker, $16.95, 314 pages
Point Deception opens to undercover cop Tim Kelly’s adventure as Kelly’s life hangs on the line in the secluded hacienda of a Mexican cartel drug lord. As the story unfolds, the reader follows Kelly’s life back to where it began, on the streets of 1956 New Orleans, and moves to the Coast Guard, which Kelly joined after lying about his age at fourteen. Combat and deep personal losses in Vietnam leave Kelly scarred, causing him to make a career move into the hardcore world of undercover narcotics. It’s here that his life comes full circle when he’s charged with the mission of bringing down the drug kingpin who largely sponsored his early, very hungry days in New Orleans, supported him through everything, and helped him become the man he is today. When Kelly fails to check in with his handler, a team of Texas lawmen embark on a daring rescue mission to save Kelly, or recover his body, whichever occurs first, through any means necessary.
This novel has a strict, no-frills and no-nonsense approach to storytelling. Obviously the author draws from a deep reservoir of experience and the book is all the richer for it. The creator’s comfort with military and law enforcement jargon gives the book a raw feel and sense of immediacy. While the characters appear to have deep inner lives and complexity, they come across as stiff and oddly formal, perhaps due to their career choices. If the book lacks anything in style, it’s made up for in the reality of the information presented. Overall, Point Deception is an interesting novel that draws its rapid-fire pace from real life scenarios that are complex, disturbing, and touching, making this thriller an engaging production from a local San Francisco author.
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