Line in the Sand: My new book.


Mexico is now the second deadliest conflict zone in the world, thanks to the criminal activity of drug cartels and the long history of judicial corruption and weak social institutions. But the border, and America’s power and prosperity protect us from all that.


When drug gang hit men appear at a Phoenix elementary school late one afternoon, a fourth grade teacher and a janitor become the protectors of two immigrant boys, and their lives are changed instantly and permanently. The boys are innocent victims of a Mexican cartel war that has crossed the line in several and serious ways.

As the story proceeds through the consequences of the initial violence, other fateful lines are drawn, and crossed: gangsters easily penetrate the security of a major airport to pull off a kidnapping; an informant double-crosses both the police and the cartel; a drug dealer sells out the people who trusted him most; a child walks deliberately toward his own death.

Line in the Sand combines exciting action and suspense with street level stories about life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, and both sides of the law.

He grabbed his gym bag and looked in. His hand came out with money. He put a little packet of bills on the couch next to him. It was held together with a spring clip. He put another one on top of it. “Two.”
“You’ve got the stink of drug money all over you,” I said. I waved to Carissa at the other end of the pool. She seemed to look at me but did not move.
“Three,” he said.
I felt my legs tremble. Much as I wanted to leave, I could not move. I sat down on one of the lounges that faced the pool. I was no longer angry about being thought a whore, or afraid of being killed. I believed he really meant what he said. In his mind it was all perfectly ordered. He was buying purity. I am not Purity. “You still don’t get it. I don’t want anything you’ve got, cuz you are trouble. And I don’t want no more of it.”