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Iron River / the Border Lords (MP3-CD) (T. Jefferson Parker)
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IRON RIVEROn a dusty highway just north of the United States/Mexico border, a man named Mike Finnegan is struck by a fast-moving vehicle and flung into the desert. Miraculously, he survives and winds up in a hospital in the tiny border town of Buenavista, seemingly in full possession of his faculties—including the eerie ability to understand events happening well outside the view from his hospital bed. Charlie Hood joins a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms task force patrolling the “iron river,” where illegal guns flow from United States dealers to the Mexican drug business. Hood is part of a stakeout team when a federal officer’s bullet kills an innocent boy. The boy happens to be the son of Benjamin Armenta, head of the Gulf Cartel and one of the most violent men in the world. Armenta’s thirst for vengeance even in routine business matters is well known. His hired killers are credited with many of the murders and beheadings of the fifteen thousand people who have died in the cartel wars along the border in recent years. Hood and ATF brace themselves for brute vengeance. As this unthinkable violence leaks from Mexico into the United States, and as Finnegan’s predictive powers become even stranger and stronger, Charlie Hood works to understand the mysterious forces fighting for control of this tiny border town, forces that may have the power to slow the iron river—and to save the ATF men he has come to think of as his brothers.
THE BORDER LORDSATF agent Sean Ozburn is deep undercover, supporting the sicarios of the North Baja Cartel, when he suddenly goes completely dark, leaving Charlie Hood and the support team from Operation Blowdown with a safe house full of bodies and no explanation. Sean’s only communication in the following days consists of a series of haunting digital videos sent to his desperately worried wife, Seliah. As he pieces together evidence of his friend’s strange quest and searches the border landscape, following faint signals to the man’s whereabouts, Charlie Hood must determine if Oz is simply chasing demons deeper undercover than anyone has ever gone, or whether his friend has suffered a permanent break with his mission and his moral compass. A crime novel of unprecedented scope and unrivaled storytelling ambition, The Border Lords revisits the fevered landscape of America’s southern border — and confronts the unexplored depths of humanity’s dark soul.