By crossing the U. S. border, Julio Roman embarks on a roller coaster ride.
With hellhounds on his trail, he navigates an America he did not imagine. The land of the free ain't paved with gold; rather it is a place where desperate men and women do what needs to be done in order to survive. Get rich or die trying is the name of the game. Question is: Will Julio play? And if so, will he live to tell the tale? The cards have been laid on the table of life. And the stakes are high indeed. Welcome to the land of milk and honey.
Includes a link to the original song "Two Summers Ago."
An enjoyable tale of one man’s odyssey to America. Best book ever? No, but it didn’t need to be. I was invested in the story of our young Honduran trying to get on in life and secure a future for himself and his family. He’s a bit more likable than Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem in Coming to America – more humility, less irritating but both with a moral compass.
Julio encounters abuse at the hands of his coyote handlers and temporary incarceration as a result of an operation to bring the traffickers down. His subsequent adventures have him enduring life at a motel in the company of a secretive old man and a gang of wild young women – a surprising cash bonus comes his way when they depart.
Hooking up with his stateside cousin, a career as a field hand picking vegetables beckons. Crap work for crap pay and before long Julio is on his travels again. Life in New York isn’t any easier – restaurant work as a dishwasher and a temporary venture into crime, stealing expensive truffles from his employer to supplement his income. Discovered after a while, a severe beating at the hands of his boss and shady associates ensue, before employment as a driver for a rich lawyer, Lester – someone he encountered earlier in our tale.
Life at the bottom end of the food chain inevitably sees Julio crossing paths with shady grifters and ne’er do wells and our man comes across well in these encounters. Always willing to do the moral thing, though not above profiting from a bit of law-breaking himself. Violence is never too far away, though isn’t something Julio craves – a quiet life would be more to his liking.
An enjoyable saga, maybe a bit too reliant on coincidences in our plot which fortuitously allows us to come full circle – the coyotes we met at the start of the book having unfinished business with Julio towards the end. But that aside I was entertained and eager to see where Julio’s journey ended.
4 from 5
Verge Le Noir has been enjoyed previously, featuring on the blog with Killing Crows, Shell Casings and Black Pills and Red Bullets.
His website is here.
Read In March, 2017
Published – 2016
Page count – 184
Source – copy received from author
Format - Kindle