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Midnight Cactus
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Midnight Cactus

by Bella Pollen
 

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The best-selling author of Hunting Unicorns returns with a stirring and suspenseful tale of love and the quest for freedom, vividly set in the wild lands between Arizona and the Mexican border. On the run from her claustrophobic marriage in London, Alice Coleman moves her two small children to the American desert hoping to find the solitude she craves but

Overview

The best-selling author of Hunting Unicorns returns with a stirring and suspenseful tale of love and the quest for freedom, vividly set in the wild lands between Arizona and the Mexican border. On the run from her claustrophobic marriage in London, Alice Coleman moves her two small children to the American desert hoping to find the solitude she craves but hadn’t thought possible. But the vast and unruly southwest has room for the dreams of more than one fugitive—from Benjamin, an abandoned mining town’s Mexican caretaker, to the immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border, to the laconic cowboy Duval, who Alice finds herself falling for. What seemed idyllic turns deadly as Alice must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to preserve not only her freedom, but Benjamin and Duvall’s as well. Building to a blistering climax, Midnight Cactus is both a perilous love story and a compelling exploration of the tension between unrealized dreams and the pull of family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Restless and unfulfilled, Alice Coleman jumps at the chance to spend a year away from London and her officious, workaholic developer husband, Robert. Accompanied only by her young children, Jack and Emmy, Alice arrives in Temerosa, Ariz., a ghost town her husband bought, to oversee the renovation of the decrepit property into a resort. Unprepared for life in the remote desert community, Alice finds herself immersed in a harsh climate filled with deadly wildlife, illegal immigrants, immigrant traffickers and vigilante border guards. The construction crew working on her expansive property, she suspects, are illegals, as is the maid she hires in a fit of "wretched middle class guilt." Meanwhile, Alice is drawn into a flirtation with handsome local crew leader Henry Duval, whose rugged charm covers his own dark secrets. Robert joins the family in Temerosa and gets sucked into a murder investigation involving Henry, and things get dire. Pollen (Hunting Unicorns) creates a scorching landscape and a large, finely drawn cast, and her portrayal of the pressure-cooker atmosphere along the border is notable for its lack of preachiness. The ongoing immigration debate can't hurt sales potential. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
British novelist Pollen (Hunting Unicorns, 2003) sets a love story in Arizona, near the Mexican border. Feeling numb in her marriage, Alice Coleman leaves London with her two young children to oversee the restoration and resortification of Temerosa, a ghost town picked up as an investment by her husband, Robert. Overseeing the construction work is Duval, a strong, silent type short on communication but long on integrity. Lonely, alienated Alice notices the sadness and fear on the faces of the area's Mexicans, who are the subject of extreme local opinions. Alice comes alive in the desert and in the company of Duval, but she's also suspicious of him. He turns out to be a smuggler, though a principled one: Motivated by the fate of his girlfriend, raped and murdered two decades earlier by nasty character "El Turr-n," Duval takes no money for helping illegals. The long, lazily discursive tale finally gains momentum when Alice and Duval consummate their feelings, Robert arrives unexpectedly and a vigilante group called Ranch Rights gets gun-happy. Murder, attempted rape and a near-death march in the desert contribute to a helter-skelter conclusion that manages to balance romance with doing the right thing. Engagingly perky, with big themes-justice, immigration and lost children-surprisingly well served by the author's comic, quirky style. Film rights to Paramount

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802170316
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/10/2007
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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