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review 2015-01-03 00:45
The Convert's Song
The Convert's Song: A Novel - Sebastian Rotella
“That’s what happens. Governments fuck you around. People fuck you around. By the time they’re done, you don’t know who you are. Especially if you weren’t sure to begin with.”


What a great sequel to the first book in the series! Valentín Pescatore is back and a couple of years have passed since the first book. I was a bit bummed that so much time had passed and that Pescatore was no longer in a relationship with Puente. There is still a bit of romance (well steamy scenes that is) because Pescatore seriously can't keep his hands to himself when he works with any female agents. I just really hope this whole different woman each book won't be a trend with this series.


I feel like I liked Pescatore more in this book than the first. I really enjoyed getting to see glimpses of his past during flashbacks or when he would talk with his childhood friend, Raymond. It seemed much easier to root for Pescatore while reading this. 


The action and suspense in this book was awesome. Some horrific things happen in this book and I just couldn't tear my eyes from this book. I liked that this book didn't switch point of view like the last book, it seemed to help the plot progress faster. The twists towards the end really helped the book stay interesting to the final pages.


Sebastian Rotella really has a way of drawing readers in and giving them thrills until the very end. I can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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text 2015-01-01 21:40
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
The Convert's Song: A Novel - Sebastian Rotella

I am definitely liking this book more than the first one. The only thing that is kind of bugging me about this one is that Pescatore is not with Puente any more. I thought for sure they would still be together. The book briefly mentions how they were together after the first book and how they were even engaged but it doesn't really go into detail. Pescatore really sounds a bit bitter about it. I look forward to reading more, but I don't look forward to Pescatore getting together with the French counterterrorism agent he is working with. Pescatore just can't help himself and it is getting old fast.

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review 2014-11-09 00:40
Triple Crossing
Triple Crossing - Sebastian Rotella

The border seethed on the edge of his sleep. Haunting him. Disembodied faces surging up out of the riverbed at him.

I picked this book up from the library because I was approved for the sequel on NetGalley. Recently I haven't had much time for reading but whenever I had a chance to pick this book up I was engrossed in the story. I do have to say that if you plan on reading this book and don't know some Spanish you might want to have Google translate handy (it doesn't have too much Spanish in it but there are phrases here and there).


This book follows two men who are on opposite ends of the U.S. Mexico border. Both are just trying to do their jobs the best that they can. Valentine Pescatore, a US border patrol agent, finds himself in a drug lord's crew and always in fear for his life and Leo Mendez, the chief of a Mexican police unit, finds himself on a journey to finally take down the drug lord. Their paths cross at times and they don't know whether they can trust the other just as readers don't know who to trust.


I alternated between liking both Valentine and Leo and being annoyed with both of them. There were certain parts in this book that I really didn't know who was trustworthy. I did feel sorry at first for Valentine but then felt he was too comfortable in the drug lord's gang. I felt that his romance with Isabel Puente sprang up too fast but am interested in seeing where it goes. For most of the book I felt Leo was a bit naive and too hard-headed. When he started to take matters into his own hands was when I really started to like him.


It is evident that Sebastian Rotella has knowledge of the region and culture covered in this book and that made it a richer story. The events towards the end will really get your heart racing and at times leave you wondering where everyone's loyalties lie. This was a great start to this series and I look forward to reading more about these characters.


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review 2013-03-21 14:03
"Triple Crossing", by Sebastian Rotella
Triple Crossing: A Novel - Sebastian Rotella

This novel tells the story about the pursuit of justice by law enforcement on both sides of the U.S. and the Mexican border. It explores and dramatizes the violence and corruption in the drug trade and the human smuggling while at the same time honoring the honest Border Patrol agents on both sides who resist the cartels and often pay a heavy price. 

This fast paced thriller has two heroes: working the trenches between San Diego and Tijuana is Valentine Pascatore, a no-nonsense Border Patrol agent of Mexican and Argentine descent. On the side is Leo Mendez, a reformist chief of an elite Mexican police unit known as the Diogenes Group. Most of the narrative alternates between these two protagonists, sometimes it is very tedious and a challenge to follow, some knowledge of Spanish would definitely have been an asset.

Pascatore takes great pride in his position as a border agent, a real pit-bull on the job with of soft side slipping at times as few dollars to illegals to tie them over till they are returned home. His aggressiveness attracts the attention of Isabel Puente, an agent with the U.S. Inspector General’s Office who wants to utilize him as an undercover agent to infiltrate the most powerful Mexican crime syndicate. Pascatore accepts the challenge and things goes well at first till one day a disastrous incident puts him on the run. Wrongly accused of murdering a police officer and not wanting to blow his cover he carries on with his assignment in the Triple Border area of South America, a no man’s land where any wrong move could be fatal.

The plot is intense with plenty of suspense and action while it follows the hair-raising life of a double agent trying to walk the fine line between good and evil. The emotions expressed by the main characters and the secondary ones are quite credible. Although the narrative passages are highly dynamic the fine details I was missing became overwhelming at times and maintaining focus was a challenge

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review 2011-12-29 00:00
Triple Crossing - Sebastian Rotella This is an intelligent thriller written by a guy with an impressive background in journalism. You can cross Tijuana off your list of vacation destinations. The same goes for the "Triple Border" where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina all connect. That is, of course, unless you like the sound of gunfire and the sight of dead bodies and the smell of alcoholic drug addicts. In that case, be my guest. Be sure to pack your body armor. Triple Crossing takes you into the chaotic world of corrupt border politics, law enforcement, and the powerful, violent groups of many nationalities that control smuggling operations. Loyalties are always changing on both sides of the border, and treachery is the rule. Valentine Pescatore is a young Border Patrol agent who has gotten himself into a heap of trouble on the job. As an alternative to criminal charges, he agrees to go undercover in Mexico for a U.S. investigative agency. But once ensconced, he seems to be playing for the wrong team. Has he gone renegade? And how the heck does he end up way down in South America, where things are even messier than in Tijuana? The end of the story may leave you still unsure who is sincere and who is a scumbag, which is probably an accurate reflection of life in that milieu. In that sense, the book's title could have a double (or triple?) meaning. Sebastian Rotella's journalistic excellence is evident throughout. His need to inform is sometimes detrimental to plot pacing, but adds a welcome realism to the events. This one should appeal to a good variety of readers in the genre. It has enough testosterone to keep the gents happy, but not enough blood and guts to scare away us dames.
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