Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Dogs of Mexico by John J. Asher

After a family tragedy, CIA operative Robert Bonhert, disappears and starts a new life in Florida. However, several years later, he is located by a former colleague and blackmailed into participating in a scheme to smuggle diamonds out of Mexico. Needless to say, the scheme does not go to plan and what follows is a white knuckle ride style adventure, where anything can happen.

Early on, Asher introduces us to a cast of characters who lulled me into thinking the story was going to be little more than a mad-cap caper. For instance, some of the people Robert has to deal with on his travels are a bitter German drunk, a stroppy teenage wild child, a transvestite and a psychotic midget. There is a shocking incident not too fat into the story, however, which lets the reader know in no uncertain terms that this is, in fact, a gritty, hard-hitting tale and, from that point on, the action doesn’t stop.

We are taken on a relentless, action fuelled read complete with car chases, gun fights and stand-offs. There are times I feared the action was so full on, the story was in danger of careering out of control but Asher manages to hold a steady course despite the breakneck speed he employs. Alongside the action, we have the side story of Robert’s relationship with Ana, a troubled woman who he rescues from her abusive partner, Helmut.

I enjoyed the story and found myself anxiously reeling from one near miss to another as Robert tries to navigate his way through Mexico. Asher’s use of the landscape and poverty of Mexico is particularly effective. He creates an intoxicating vision of hell which heightens the tension even further. If you like adventures that are gritty and pull no punches then The Dogs of Mexico is definitely one for you. 

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