I read books, I write about books, I would probably marry a book if I could find one who liked me enough. Three words to describe me mature, irresponsible, contradictory, unreliable...oh...that's four...
Christopher Irvin, first-time novelist and a fellow Thuglit alum.
An old Mexican federal is pulled out of his self-imposed exile to protect the one woman brave enough to speak out against the corrupt system that has tried to kill them both for their honesty.
Marcos Camarena, a decent cop in a dirty town, until his clean nose gets him marked for death by the not-so-invisible powers that be in Mexico City.
David Zayas, best known for playing Sgt. Angel Batista on Dexter.
Although Federales is set decades after The Mongolian Conspiracy, Mexico City only seems to have gotten meaner. The government has abandoned even the pretense of being the good guys.
They turned onto a side road and headed for the dark heart of the city, where the clouds had eaten the sun.
Federales is minimalist noir at its best, perfectly evoking a particular time, place and atmosphere with the fewest words possible. Irvin’s sentences are short and brutal like kidney punches, hitting just where needed to have the most impact. As soon as you get a handle on what you think the story is, the status quo shifts drastically without warning. The fact that he was able to render the enormity of Mexico City’s rampant corruption in less than two hundred pages is impressive alone. That he was able to conclude it with a twist ending that felt both unexpected yet inevitable suggests that Christopher Irvin is a future master of the genre making his first contribution to what will hopefully be a long bibliography. Those who enjoyed The Mongolian Conspiracy will find Federales to be a sequel in spirit if not in name.
Bookshots review written for LitReactor.com by BH Shepherd