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Gaynor, a Reuters reporter who has been covering the 2,000-mile length of the U.S.-Mexico border since 2004, conjures up life on both sides in this uneven debut. He spends the first section explaining a typical migrant's trek across the Arizona border by making an aborted attempt at the journey himself. His reportage typically pits "good-guy" border-patrol agents against "bad-guy" human and drug traffickers-accounts colored by his wide-eyed admiration for the border patrol's effectiveness. He profiles coyotes-the people who lead migrants across the border and charge exorbitant rates-marveling at their ingenuity (e.g., an underground tunnel between Tijuana and Otay Mesa, Calif.). For such an able storyteller, Gaynor is disappointingly uncritical of any side of the border or immigration debate and provides little new information. Excessive attention is given to border police corruption and possible links between the border and terrorism, both low-priority issues on the list of U.S. border-policy malfunctions. It's no surprise when Gaynor concludes, "The [U.S.] government is clearly getting a better hold on the line than ever before," without having seriously challenged the wisdom of any facet of border policy. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.