Monday, October 10, 2011

In Desperation

By Rick Mofina

As a teenager, Cora Gannon was gang raped. Unable to handle the situation, she turned to drugs and eventually ran away from home. She sank lower into drugs and criminal activity. When she became pregnant, she set about changing her name and her life. Now, as Cora Martin, she works as an accountant for a courier firm with a boss involved with Mexican drug cartels. One night, two men posing as cops invade Cora’s home, kidnap her daughter and demand she tell her boss to return stolen money. Helpless, she turns to the only person she thinks can help–her estranged younger brother, a reporter for a world wide news service. Using contacts and following leads, Jack Gannon travels to Mexico, Texas, California, and Nevada in search of any information that will lead him to his niece. However, he suspects something in Cora’s past has come back to haunt her.

Good story line. I thought at first it wasn’t going to go anywhere, that everything would be centered around Cora’s Arizona home. But it bounces around from place to place.

Cora Martin: 38, single mother. Works for Quick Draw Courier as an accountant. She left home at age 18 cutting off ties to her family.

Jack Gannon: 32, Cora’s estranged brother. Parents dead. Journalist with World Press Alliance. Single.

Earl Hackett: Special Agent for the FBI. Limps, divorced and estranged from his children. Embittered about his life and job and looks forward to retirement. Experience with narco-terrorists.

Isabel Luna: Works for a Juarez newspaper. Her father was killed by exposing drug cartel influence on local police. Is Gannon’s contact and assistant.

Lyle Galviera: Owns Quick Draw Courier. After getting into financial trouble, he hooked up with a Mexican cartel to courier drugs in religious items. Dating Cora at the time of the kidnapping.

Angel Quinterra: 20, cartel assassin who is looking to stop killing. He wants absolution from a local priest, but only after one more job.

Interesting characters even if Mofina doesn’t get too in depth with them. Everybody seems to be a secondary character, even Jack to an extent. Even though most of the focus is on his bouncing around the country and into Mexico looking for information, the story doesn’t focus strictly on him. There are many minor players who have small roles.

Everybody has his or her own voice. For some reason, though, Cora tends to get on my nerves. She goes from desperate mother wailing about just wanting back her daughter, then clamming up when it comes to telling the truth about her past. Hackett also tends to be lurking every time Cora and Jack speak and making obligatory threats.

Short chapters. As I mentioned above, the story doesn’t stay in one place. People are moving around a lot. Action is swift, details are minimal. Several short flashbacks for many charcters.

My ranking:

Blue Belt

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