Rosarito Beach

Mike Lawson, creator of the Joe DeMarco thrillers (House Odds et al.), uses the pen name M. A. Lawson to launch a new series, Rosarito Beach, with a new protagonist: DEA agent Kay Hamilton. Hamilton brings a take-no-prisoners attitude to her investigations, and though it's clear she makes a better field agent than supervisor, she's assigned to lead a team in Southern California investigating Caesar Olivera, the boss of a major Mexican drug cartel. After arresting the kingpin's little brother, Tito, Hamilton's main concern becomes keeping him locked up. Even after Tito is transferred to the brig of a vast Marine base, however, Caesar's army threatens.

Hamilton dislikes authority figures, enjoys a drink or four, picks fights with every other law enforcement agency in town and knows exactly how to use her good looks and hot body to her advantage. She follows her own personal code, pleased to be beholden to no one except herself, involved with her career and personal pursuits--mainly her sex life--until a mystery from her distant past resurfaces. This new addition to her short list of concerns reorders Hamilton's priorities and drives her to actions, and crimes, she never thought possible. The DEA fights to keep Tito locked up, the cartel arms itself for action and Hamilton rejects protocol in an accelerating race toward the end game, which concludes with all the fireworks and upheaval a thriller fan craves. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

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