In Burson’s terrorism thriller, a master plan is set in motion to unleash a biological contagion on the San Diego-Mexico border.
When FBI special agent Sean Murphy is transferred to the warm, Southern California confines of San Diego, he’s worried about earthquakes. That mindset ends quickly, however, when his neighbor, Franklin Smith, introduces Murphy to his business partner, certified public accountant and former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces David Allen. Allen’s cold, calculated demeanor mirrors the one-liners and guarded nature of his wife, Lisa Hirsch Allen. Interestingly, Burson uses short, three-page chapters and constantly shifting points of view to illuminate different angles of the plot. Murphy’s worst nightmare comes to light when an earthquake rocks his office; however, this act of nature reveals a tunnel running under the border, which hints at a far greater conspiracy against humanity. Burson’s narrative is doused with unexpected secrets and deceit to the point where no one is safe. Arab terrorists have infiltrated the U.S and Mexico, perhaps as sleeper agents, and they’re planning a bioterrorism attack that will dwarf the devastating impact of 9/11. On the one hand, these terrorists will stop at nothing to ensure destruction; on the other, Sean Murphy and his group of intelligence agents are willing to pay the ultimate price to protect the free world. The author slips a wrinkle into the plot when he reveals the role played by Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, in eliminating Arab terrorists in the United States. Throughout the narrative, a sense of foreboding looms over everything. Fortunately, comedic conflicts between American and Mexican law enforcement helps alleviate some of the tension from the impending terrorist attacks. When Murphy attempts to contact Mexican agents regarding the uncovered tunnel, the supervisor on the U.S. side states nonchalantly, “Those Mexicans only pretend to help us. Basically they don’t give a shit about anything.”
A dynamic cast holds together this unpredictable thrill ride.