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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In Parker’s excellent fifth Charlie Hood novel (after 2011’s The Border Lords), Bradley Jones, a deputy in the L.A. sheriff’s department who’s been transporting drugs for a Mexican cartel since he was 17, turns to fellow deputy Hood for help after henchmen of a rival cartel kidnap Jones’s pregnant wife, Erin. If Jones doesn’t pay the rival cartel’s leader, Benjamin Armenta, million within 10 days as an apology for the trouble he’s caused Armenta, Armenta will have Erin skinned alive. Parker demonstrates remarkable command of his material, from the gruesome realities of the Mexican drug trade to a surprisingly human portrayal of the monstrous Armenta, who keeps a menagerie of animals, including the jaguar of the book’s title, at his compound in Quintana Roo. A somewhat opaque subplot involving the dodgy Mike Finnegan, “a bathroom-products wholesaler,” distracts only slightly from the quest for Erin in a crime thriller notable for its fine, insightful prose. Agent: Trident Media Group. (Jan.)