In this debut thriller launching a new series, an undercover drug enforcement agent becomes embroiled in shady dealings in the tobacco industry.
Pot is the new tobacco. Hardly anybody knows this better than the greedy folks at Connecticut’s Treadwell Farms, where efforts are secretly underway to somehow cash in on the hot ticket that is marijuana. Marco Pinto, a scientist at the farm, busily spends his waking hours manipulating a new strain of tobacco with THC, the compound in marijuana that delivers the high. Since tobacco farms are already outfitted to work with what was once a booming cash crop, having a similar product become the new darling will work in their favor. There’s only one slight problem: marijuana is still illegal in most of the country, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, in the form of Jason Kraft, must make sure this genetic hybrid doesn’t surface on the streets. Complicating Kraft’s mission is the gorgeous Alondra Espinoza, a Puerto Rican native who packs a mean punch under that Miss Congeniality exterior. Espinoza is an FBI agent assigned to the case by bosses convinced that the DEA is not doing its job. What follows is a cat-and-mouse chase between different characters with conflicting interests in a plot that is tightly paced, if occasionally confusing. Bombard reveals the unfair labor practices in Connecticut’s tobacco industry—operations with no unions, no health benefits, deficient working conditions, and poor pay but which remain legal. It’s difficult to reconcile the land of hedge fund managers, one of the richest states in the U.S., with this kind of inequity. Unfortunately, Kraft’s romantic relationship with the beautiful Espinoza becomes a distraction at times, especially since it stalls the story frequently. And the many twists and turns may confound inattentive readers. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of action and fun to keep devoted fans of the thriller/spy genre satisfied.
A fast-paced DEA tale with a social conscience that should have many readers looking forward to more of Jason Kraft.