Illegal Review
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Trial lawyer Jimmy Payne’s life has gone to pieces. Unable to deal with a tragedy in his past, he makes another mistake and winds up with the cops after him. He needs to skip town—and fast. When Tino Perez, a twelve-year-old Mexican boy who’s in the country illegally, comes to Jimmy to ask for his help in finding his mother, Marisol, Jimmy is on his way to Mexico to hunt down and kill a man. Blinded by a need for revenge, he has no time to help anyone.

Jimmy’s ex-wife, Sharon, takes pity on him, but she orders him to help the boy or go to jail. So Jimmy heads to Mexico to track Tino and his mother’s movements, as well as those of the vicious coyote who brought them into the United States. In the process, he encounters a host of corruption, including human trafficking and sexual slavery. He begins to bond with the boy, and together they battle predators on both sides of the law.

Meanwhile, Marisol Perez is fighting her own battles while desperately searching for her son. The search leads her to Simeon Rutledge’s town. A wealthy grower, Simeon appears to be helping the Mexicans, but, deep down, he’s a ruthless, cold-hearted murderer who wants to use Marisol for his own gain.

Illegal is the second novel I’ve read about the plight of illegal Mexicans in the United States. And, once again, even though it’s a work of fiction, it helped me see the issue from a different prospective. After all, there may be those who come into our country to take advantage of our system, but there are also those, like Tino and Marisol, who just want a chance at a better life.

Still, Illegal is more than just an educational read. The smart and highly entertaining plot, written with edge-of-your-seat suspense, makes Illegal one of my favorite thrillers. As you read, you’ll hold your breath, praying that Tino and his mother will be reunited—but never sure if that will be the case. At the same time, once you find out what happened to Jimmy Payne in his past, not only will the revelation shock you, but it’ll also help you understand his actions—and you’ll root for him to win against insurmountable odds.

Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller or a look into a darker world that lurks just beyond the veil of your safety zone, Illegal is a good choice—because it steps beyond the neat and tidy, and it gives a deeper look at what goes on beneath the surface of illegal immigration.

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