Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (August 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316105309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316105309

Product Description


Valentine Pescatore, a volatile rookie Border Patrol agent, is trying to survive the trenches of The Line in San Diego. He gets in trouble and finds himself recruited as an informant by Isabel Puente, a beautiful U.S. agent investigating a powerful Mexican crime family.

As he infiltrates the mafia, Pescatore falls in love with Puente. But he clashes with her ally Leo Mendez, chief of a Tijuana anti-corruption unit. Politically charged violence escalates, plunging Pescatore into the lawless "triple border" region of South America and a showdown full of bloodshed and betrayal.

Writing with rapid-fire intensity, Sebastian Rotella captures the despair and intrigue of the borderlands, where enforcing the law has become an act of subversion. TRIPLE CROSSING is an explosive and riveting debut.

About the Author


Sebastian Rotella is an author and award-winning senior reporter for Propublica, an independent organization dedicated to investigative journalism. He covers issues including international terrorism, organized crime, homeland security and immigration. Previously, he worked for 23 years for the Los Angeles Times, serving as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and covering the Mexican border. He was a Pulitzer finalist in international reporting in 2006. He is the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Norton), which was named a New York Times Notable Book in 1998.

Excellent article on the Mulholland Book Site here.

My Review

Excellent debut novel by Sebastian Rotella. Triple Crossing refers to the three country junction of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina in South America which is similar to the Mexico/US border with its smuggling of people and goods.  Corruption and militaristic governments are the norm in the area.  I have dozens of friends who grew up in Mennonite colonies in the area and I have heard endless stories of violence and corruption that has existed for decades.

The story follows Border Patrol rookie Valentine Pescatore from the US/Mexican border near San Diego to the Triple Border area.  Rotella paints a vivid picture of the realities of both border regions where political corruption and organized crime intermingle to form this lawless landscape.  Violence is a daily occurrence.  Mexicans are no longer the only migrants trying to cross into the United States.  South and Central Americans along with Asians are also crossing illegally.  They are known as OTMs...Other Than Mexicans.  The organized crime element in the form of global mafias are moving migrants across borders in all regions that have uncontrolled borders.  The book focused on middle eastern mafioso in the Triple Border region.  

This was a really interesting book besides being an excellent crime thriller.  I haven't been in Tijuana since the mid 1970s and all I remember was extreme poverty, shacks made of cardboard and children trying to sell us paper flowers in the street.  I remember giving my Canadian flag pin to one of the young boys who asked for it.  A lot has changed since then.

Highly recommend this informative and thought provoking crime thriller.

1 comment:

  1. Just the kind of book I like. Nice review, Kathy.
    Thanks for stopping over at my blog.