When a college student vacationing in Cancun is abducted, her parents turn to a friend to help find her.
After spurning the sleazy advances of an older man in a nightclub in Cancun, spring-breaking college student Taylor Woodall is abducted at gunpoint outside her hotel, and her friend is shot. Her father immediately contacts his old friend Catherine James, a smart, resourceful attorney who has long dealt with sketchy characters south of the border. After running into a dead end with the local cops, James stumbles across a street kid who may have some pertinent information, but after the two are attacked in a crowded market, she realizes she’s in over her head. She has no choice but to contact Matt, an old boyfriend who is currently working as a gun for hire, training anti-cartel soldiers deep in the jungle. Once Matt is on the scene, the pace of the investigation picks up, but, given his extreme methods, James is forced to confront some prickly moral issues if she’s going to find out exactly what happened to Taylor. Although the novel follows thriller plot conventions fairly closely, when it comes to character development, Weems makes interesting choices. James’ discomfort with Matt’s methods is well-portrayed, as she tries her best to accept using extreme violence to achieve moral ends. The action scenes are well-wrought, and the prose flows clearly for the most part, occasionally hampered by the insertion of unnecessary detail. Overall, the book’s strengths outweigh this minor weakness, and a parallel plot concerning a young Mexican girl lured into prostitution in the U.S. works well to underscore the themes of the primary plot, even if it doesn’t seem to relate to it directly.
A tightly scripted thriller with an unusually well-developed main character.