El Gavilan

( 17 )

Overview

The news is full of it: escalating tensions from illegal immigration; headless bodies hanging off bridges and bounties placed on lawmen on both sides of the border. New Austin, Ohio, is a town grappling with waves of undocumented workers who exert tremendous pressure on schools, police and city services. In the midst of the turmoil, three very different kinds of cops scramble to maintain control and impose order.

But the rape-murder of a Mexican-American woman triggers a brutal ...

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El Gavilan

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Overview

The news is full of it: escalating tensions from illegal immigration; headless bodies hanging off bridges and bounties placed on lawmen on both sides of the border. New Austin, Ohio, is a town grappling with waves of undocumented workers who exert tremendous pressure on schools, police and city services. In the midst of the turmoil, three very different kinds of cops scramble to maintain control and impose order.

But the rape-murder of a Mexican-American woman triggers a brutal chain of events that threatens to leave no survivors. El Gavilan is a novel of shifting alliances and whiplash switchbacks. Families are divided and careers and lives threatened. Friendships and ideals are tested and budding love affairs challenged. With its topical themes, shades-of-gray characters and dark canvas, El Gavilan is a novel for our charged times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As sobering and as urgent as tomorrow’s headlines, this searing novel by Edgar-finalist McDonald (Head Games) traces the struggle of the residents of fictional New Austin, Ohio, to cope with out-of-control illegal Latino immigrants. The town’s principled new police chief, Tell Lyon, a former Border Patrol sector chief whose wife and child recently died in a firebombing in the California borderlands, must contend with the brutal rape-murder of Thalia Ruiz, a young waitress and legal immigrant befriended by Horton County sheriff Able Hawk. Opposing Lyon and Hawk (gavilan in Spanish) are all-too-credible villains: Latino gangbangers, an unscrupulous journalist, and several crooked cops. Meanwhile, irresistible Patricia Maldonado, whose parents are “two of Horton County’s rare documented, naturalized Latinos,” provides Lyon steamy reasons to stay alive in this simmering cauldron of racial tensions and sadistic crimes. McDonald deftly balances his “now” against the “then” backstory as he dissects one of America’s most tormenting social problems. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
"As sobering and as urgent as tomorrow's headlines, this searing novel traces the struggle of the residents of fictional New Austin, Ohio, to cope with out-of-control illegal Latino immigrants. McDonald deftly balances his 'now' against the 'then' backstory as he dissects one of America's most tormenting social problems."
Publisher's Weekly, starred review
Library Journal
Border-crossing crime fiction set in the Southwest might be common, but that set in rural Ohio is not. Welcome to a region that is not embracing its new demographics. The recently appointed police chief for the city of New Austin, Tell Lyon is a former Border Patrol officer who relocated to Middle America to escape the painful memories of his old life. When he meets the two local sheriffs, however, Tell realizes that vigilantism is thriving in this new Wild West. Soon after his arrival, a young Latina is found brutally raped and murdered in a field. Tell's instincts are good, but as the new guy, he often wonders if his law enforcement colleagues are playing on the same team. VERDICT Prepare for pure Western pulp with this plot-driven shoot-'em-up that replaces cowboys and Indians with sheriffs and illegal immigrants. Employing multiple narrators and flashing back and forth in time, the novel makes it clear that vengeance will be brutal. Veteran journalist and Edgar Award nominee McDonald's (Head Games) violent and bleak landscape frames an addictive read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440531941
  • Publisher: F+W Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/18/2011
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Edgar®—nominee Craig McDonald is an award-winning journalist, editor and fiction writer. His short fiction has appeared in literary magazines, anthologies and several online crime fiction sites.

His debut novel, Head Games, was published by Bleak House Books in September 2007. Head Games was selected as a 2008 Edgar®—nominee for Best First Novel by an American Author. Head Games was also a finalist for the Anthony, Gumshoe and Crimespree Magazine awards for best first novel.

His nonfiction books include Art in the Blood, a collection of interviews with 20 major crime authors which appeared in 2006, and Rogue Males: Conversations and Confrontations About the Writing Life, a second collection of interviews published by Bleak House Books in 2009.

McDonald was also a contributor to the NYT's nonfiction bestseller, Secrets of the Code. He recently won national awards for his profiles of crime novelists James Crumley, Daniel Woodrell, James Sallis and Elmore Leonard.

He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, Sisters in Crime and a contributing columnist to Crimespree Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

4 Star

(4)

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    exciting pull no punches look at the full immigration issue

    Tell Lyons left the Border Patrol following the deaths of his wife and child in a firebombing incident. He accepts a position as Chief of Police of New Austin, Ohio. Although he is no where near the border, the town and Horton County have illegal immigration issues.

    However, as Horton County Sheriff Able Hawk enforces the federal immigration law, someone rapes and murders single mom Thalia Ruiz, a legal Mexican-American. Tell investigates with pressure to not dig too deep. His only ally is Able who believes in enforcing the law regardless of what race broke it. As other deadly assaults on legal or not Latina occurs, Tell begins to come back to life when he meets and is attracted to natural citizen Patricia Maldonado, whose parents are documented; not that it matters to some.

    This is an exciting pull no punches look at the full immigration issue. The story line is action-packed as the two law enforcement officials investigate the horrific felon in which they believe blood is red while other "profilers" believe their opponents need to bleed. Gruesome, Craig McDonald extrapolates the immigration issue insanity into a powerful condemnation of all sides.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Good read.

    This book was good. It gave an interesting look into immigration. The book was very well written except for the use of profanity. Too much cussing, which i find unnecessary. Otherwise a good read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    boring

    Did not like the vulgar language.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Recommend

    Thought the book was well written and moved well

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    liked it!

    liked it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    A good read.

    I found the book to be a semi-page turner. A little self-righteous in the vengence taken by Tell while at the same time trying to rout a crooked sheriff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Great read

    Enjoyed this story, lots of twists and turns involving illegals in ohio of all places.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Unrest

    This novel basically asks a simple question: What is Justice? It pits several characters against each other and looks at the social unrest caused by illegal immigration on a small Ohio town. Two lawmen, Tell (yes, his father was enamored of Louis L’Amour westerns and named him after William Tell Sackett) Lyon, newly appointed Chief of Police of New Austin, and Able “El Gavilan” Hawk, the county sheriff, play the dominant roles in this tale. The sheriff of an adjacent county also plays a pivotal part in the action.

    An interesting technique the author employs to fully inform the reader is interspersing flashbacks with earlier events in the various characters’ lives to give an insight into present actions and motivations. While the tensions created by the unsettled and undocumented population of the town may be an underlying premise of the plot, the story is more concerned with the various principal persons and, as such, is more of a character study than any other genre. Needless to say, “El Gavilan” (Spanish for “the hawk”) is a well-worthwhile book to read, enjoyable, and written with verve, and so is recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Excellent!

    Very impressed! Never read anything from this author before, so I didn't really know what to expect. This book is intense & quite the page turner! Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Good read

    Fast paced, realistic, deals with a huge problem for every state, city and town in America. A bit gruesome but within the bounds of the sort of injuries and deaths that illegal immigration and gangs like MS-13 have brought to this country.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    What an awesome story!!!

    Truly enjoyed reading this book. The caracters, the plot, the lifestyles portrayed in this book really drag you in. The way you have glimpses of the past at the beginning of each chapter compliments and helps you understand a deeper personality of the caracters or what they are "now", tge decissions they make and what shapes them. I'll be loomking for more books from this author.

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    Posted September 1, 2012

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    Posted November 6, 2012

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    Posted February 27, 2013

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    Posted May 2, 2012

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