Field of Fire (Alex Duarte Series #1)

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Overview

With Walking Money, James O. Born was hailed as "the real thing" by Elmore Leonard; Shock Wave was called "a constant blitz of action" (The Miami Herald); and with Escape Clause, Born was celebrated as "the best thing to happen to Florida crime writing since Elmore Leonard hit the Sunshine State" (Chicago Sun-Times). Now Born takes it to the next level with a remarkable novel of corruption, fraud, and the messy business of murder by explosives.

Since returning from Bosnia, ATF ...

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2007 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 340 p. Audience: General/trade. Brand New/Unread trade paperback advance ... reader copy (ARC) Read more Show Less

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Overview

With Walking Money, James O. Born was hailed as "the real thing" by Elmore Leonard; Shock Wave was called "a constant blitz of action" (The Miami Herald); and with Escape Clause, Born was celebrated as "the best thing to happen to Florida crime writing since Elmore Leonard hit the Sunshine State" (Chicago Sun-Times). Now Born takes it to the next level with a remarkable novel of corruption, fraud, and the messy business of murder by explosives.

Since returning from Bosnia, ATF agent Alex "Rocket" Duarte has been slowly reacclimating to life in South Florida. But when a gunrunner's car explodes, Duarte's life kicks into high gear in a high-profile hunt for what appears to be a serial bomber. Teamed up with a lawyer from the Department of Justice who herself is looking into possibly related bombings in Virginia and Seattle, Duarte crisscrosses the country, following the bomber and hoping to anticipate his next move, but as he peels away the layers of deception, the lines between friends and enemies begin to blur-and the results are explosive.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
A bombing in a Florida migrant-labor camp kills a child,. and ATF agent Alex Duarte is assigned the case. The Justice Department links the incident to a series of union-related bombings across the country and assigns a DOJ lawyer to work with Duarte. The intended bomb target is petty criminal Alberto Salez, whom Duarte catches then loses. The chase is on. Diffusing Duarte's inherent laser focus is the bomber, who still wants Salez dead, and the DOJ lawyer, who seems to know more about the case than she's letting on. Born, a law-enforcement professional, shifts narrative points of view among all the major characters and also tinkers with chronology to keep readers on their toes. Born dedicates his fourth novel to Elmore Leonard, whose influence is evident. Leonard's best books (think City Primeval, 1980) have been urban noir with flawed, hard-bark protagonists consumed by the pursuit. Duarte would fit right in. Born has talent and momentum; don't be surprised if, soon enough, he has his own, Leonard-like breakthrough. (Wes Lukowsky for Booklist)
Publishers Weekly
Born's fourth thriller introduces a new hero, but an implausible premise, stock characters and some clich d prose may disappoint fans of his earlier novels (Escape Clause, etc.), which featured Florida lawman Bill Tasker. ATF agent Alex Duarte, who has seen military duty in Bosnia, is on assignment in South Florida. After a wanted fugitive, Alberto Salez, whom Duarte has arrested, gives him the slip, Duarte becomes involved in a high-level investigation into a series of bombings that Deputy Attorney General Roberto Morales, an Alberto Gonzalez-like figure, suspects are the work of radical labor unions. Meanwhile, a shadowy hit man is pursuing Salez in an effort to silence him. The author, himself a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, puts little of his own real-life expertise into the plot. Despite advance praise from Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen and W.E.B. Griffin, this effort falls short of the standard set by top-rank suspense writers. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A straight-arrow lawman copes with murder, conspiracy and dating in another of Born's dandy thrillers (Shock Wave, 2005, etc.). Around ATF headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., Special Agent Alex Duarte is known as Rocket. Point him toward bad guys, press his start button and he zooms into sleuthing mode. Consider his current case, for instance. At the outset, it seems orthodox enough, if blood-drenched-a bomb, a car, the bottom-feeders inside it blown sky-high. In his signature fashion, then, Rocket sets to work, checking out the who's and why's-until the top-notch lawyer from the Department of Justice arrives, altering perspective radically. To begin with, there's the new information. Far from isolated, it turns out that the Florida bombing is the third in a series, preceded by explosions in the states of Washington and Virginia. In addition, highly placed people in the Department of Justice have an interesting conspiracy theory to explain the events: warring labor organizations seeking victory through intimidation and attrition. All of which Rocket, trained investigator that he is, takes more or less in stride-it's the lawyer, herself, who defuses Rocket. Caren Larson is blonde, beautiful and instantly drawn to the good-looking special agent, who happens to be so shy that the only female he's ever been truly comfortable with is his mother. Before long, Caren finds ways to change that. She teaches Rocket to be venturesome. She teaches him a lot about the intricacies of relationships. And, in the process, Rocket learns that dark and secret things can come brightly packaged. If he ever manages to upgrade his prose-which is serviceable but bland-working-cop Born will rocket to the verytop of thrillerdom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399153983
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/15/2007
  • Series: Alex Duarte Series , #1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

James O. Born is a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where he is involved in a wide variety of criminal investigations. He also has worked with the U.S. Marshals Service and the DEA.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007

    Hopefully we'll see a lot more of Alex Duarte

    Field of Fire is great fun and compelling reading. It¿s a fast paced police thriller with a Spillane-like authenticity. Alex Duarte comes off as a true-to-life ATF agent, a man of few words who is shy with women, modest, still lives at home with his parents and a brother who drives him nuts, but he¿s nobody¿s fool. Also, while Duarte is anything but a showy macho man, he¿s a guy that nobody should push around. I hope we see more books in this series.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fantastic police procedural

    ATF agent Alex ¿Rocket¿ Duarte has returned from Bosnia and is working diligently to get a promotion to a supervisory position. At present he and his partner are searching at the migrant camp in western Palm Beach County for Alberto Salez so they can arrest for him violating firearms statutes. The wily man escapes and later that night Salez¿s car explodes by someone who used it to tripwire it.---------------------- Caren Larson, a lawyer for the Department of Justice is assigned to work with Duarte because there have been two other G-4 bombings, one in Seattle and one in Virginia. Assistant Attorney General Bob Morales believes that the men who were targeted in the bombings were trying to organize labor and someone wanted them to stop. Duarte¿s instincts tell him there is a cover-up going on and when another person gets murdered in California, by the same hit man involved in the other bombings he believes Caren is holding back on him, something that could cost all the people working on the case their lives.----------- FIELD OF FIRE is a fantastic police procedural with a protagonist who once he gets the scent of a crime is like a bloodhound who needs to continue until he gets his prey. Women will adore the hero who is innocent when it comes to females but has superlative investigative skills that allow him to think outside the box. Surprisingly, the hitman has a conscience in spite of how he makes a living as he goes out of his way not to kill Duarte. He needs his own novel.-------- Harriet Klausner

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