Valentine Pescatore is a rookie agent working for Border Patrol where the US meets Mexico. While chasing a suspect down, he mistakenly crosses in to Mexican territory – a big no-no for US agents. Offered assistance by Isabel Puente, an agent investigating a Mexican crime family, he is recruited to work as an informant. Infiltrating a mafia family leads to much bloodshed and Pescatore finds himself at the centre of a showdown of politically charged violence and betrayal.
Whilst it is easy to see why Triple Crossing has been garnering rave reviews, the book did not really work for me on many levels. It is well written and is quite plainly well researched, and nicely set. However, as far as the story went, I found myself on the cusp of boredom on many occasions, which I imagine wasn’t the intention of the author.
It’s nice to read such good descriptions of settings, but not at the expense of story. And this occurred quite often through the text, which threw me out of what was becoming quite an interesting story. Long chapters of the sort seen more in literary novels meant a lot of the pace driven into the novel could not be sustained on a number of occasions. However, the more violent scenes are handled well and never stray into gratuitousness. The characters are well rounded, and quite original. A lot of action scenes were very descriptive and nicely presented.
Overall, it’s definitely worth reading, and I’d certainly read something else by Rotella, as he quite obviously has a lot of talent. Triple Crossing just didn’t hit every mark for me. However, there’s enough evidence within Triple Crossing to make me want to investigate a follow-up novel by this writer when it arrives.
CFL Rating: 3 Stars