Top critical review
A beach read that champions the right
Reviewed in the United States on July 17, 2014
FBI agent Tom Eriksen has been sent to El Paso as punishment for some hotheaded behavior. Now he’s got a boss looking for reasons to fault him. Our man gives the boss plenty of fodder since he keeps getting into sticky situations where people turn up dead and where Eriksen shouldn’t have been to begin with.
I admit I was a little skeptical when I heard Lou Dobbs had written a novel. I suspect that James O. Born, who has written other thrillers, probably did most of the work. In exchange, he got access to Dobbs’ very large audience. If you compare the number of Amazon reviews for “Border War” with those for Born’s earlier books, it looks like he got a good deal. According to what I see, since “Border War’s” May 6th publication, Born has published three more books with another scheduled for April, 2015. I don’t think even Stephen King could crank out books that fast and not have his craftsmanship slip a little.
Not surprising that there are phrases like “her engineer mind” (engineer’s mind?) and a character named “don Herrera.” In Mexico, the honorific title is used with first names, never with surnames. The good guys went to Harvard, MIT and Princeton. Pretty much all them are very handsome or beautiful. So much sex appeal makes everybody focus on “her beautiful blue eyes,” or “this athletic and cute detective.” The bad guys, of course, include “the tall, goofy-looking guy” and “the little Israeli.”
I do give Dobbs and Born credit for spinning a pretty good story. They move the plot along fairly well, although they remind the reader too often of the characters’ motivations for their actions. The story felt a little too formulaic. Dobbs and Born do know their topics well. Of course, the book has a conservative slant—what else would you expect from Dobbs?—but, it wasn’t as strong as I expected.
Conclusion: if you want a beach read that champions the right, you’ll probably like “Border War.”