For sexy Drug Enforcement Administration agent Kay Hamilton, arresting the drug kingpin was nothing compared to making sure he stays in custody long enough to face justice.
Kay left the agency’s Miami office under a cloud of controversy. She let a big-time drug dealer seduce her, then became his live-in girlfriend for months, gathering evidence all the while. Eventually, he found out she was a cop, and when he tried to kill her, she shot him dead. Case closed. Now, she’s starting fresh in San Diego, but she’s still playing fast and loose with the rules. But again, she’s getting results—namely, the arrest of Tito Olivera, whom Kay caught murdering a rival on video. But now that Tito is in custody, his half brother Caesar will leverage all the force he can muster to free him, and as the head of a powerful Mexican cartel, he can leverage quiet a lot of force indeed. Maybe even enough to spring Tito out of his cell in the brig at Camp Pendleton, the Marine base where he’s being held. When someone close to Kay returns to her life, the cartel realizes they now have a powerful opportunity to make Kay do what they want. But Kay isn’t one to be pushed around, especially when the person doing the pushing is a drug lord. Despite a few interesting ticks, Lawson (House Odds, 2013, etc.) turns in a fairly standard thriller here. There’s plenty of action and a variety of sleazy drug lords and conflicted cops, just as one would expect. Unfortunately, the characters fall flat, pulled straight from central casting. Even Kay mostly reads as a standard tough-guy lawman, only with a tacked-on sexual side. The plot has its merits, though, focusing as it does on keeping the bad guy, as opposed to catching him, and the twists and turns don’t strain the reader's credulity.
A few interesting details pull this thriller just barely above the pack.