Liberal doses of violence, sex, and tough-guy patter keep the adrenaline pumping in this far-fetched but swift first novel about a security guard whose machismo entangles him in the nightmarish business of smuggling illegal aliens across the US-Mexican border. Nathaniel York is the San Diego strip-joint guard who tumbles (a bit too quickly to believe) for a sexy new dancer, Juana, an illegal. After a hot spin in the sheets, she asks him to track down her missing brother, also illegal. His pride piqued, York drives to Tijuana--whose back alleys Brizzolara renders with blistering realism--where the trail runs cold. Back home, York finds Juana gone, shuffled to Vegas by the strip-club's owner, wealthy Eugene Walters, who fires an incensed York. After a long drunk, York hires on as bartender and then stud for Rachel Cole, a tycooness carbon copy of Dynasty's Alexis Colby. A week lost to cocaine and rough sex at Rachel's estate turns even more sour when Walters comes calling. His manly blood raging, York beats up Walters and then resumes his search for Juana's brother in Mexico, where, in a sizzlingly tense scene, he goes on a terrifying nighttime run across the border, only to be forcibly taken to--Rachel Cole's estate. There, a terrible truth emerges: in a variation on the classic story ""The Most Dangerous Game,"" rich businessmen hosted by Cole and Walters indulge in hunting down migrants--including Juana's brother. In a bloody finale, York and migrants battle for their lives, killing Rachel and many others; Walters escapes. Days later, as York ponders going after Walters, Juana appears for a quick thanks; but she's now a wealthy starlet who wants nothing further to do with York. Brizzolara's first-person narration occasionally strains for its wise-guy tone, and his plot for believabilty; but his feel for gritty border life and his knack for packing pages with a maximum of gaudy vice result in an exciting novel that action fans will relish.