Rated 5 stars ***** Cinco Puntos Press (Lee & Low). 2022. 274 p.
Sixteen-year-old Turi loved reading, as books were an escape from the abuse he endured at his aunt and uncle’s house in El Paso Texas. Stories helped him forget he was lonely and unloved.
Undocumented seventeen-year-old Arnulfo crossed the border from Juárez Mexico, wanting to get a good job to escape poverty and help his parents financially.
The two boys meet while working at a chicken farm where Arnie accepts an offer to leave town with Juanito, an older man who works for their boss. After being badly beaten by his uncle, Turi joins them and they set off for Kansas City.
At a checkpoint Turi sees a bribe exchange between Juanito and an ICE officer. Believing they’re transporting drugs and will be killed he and Arnie escape, steal the pickup truck and, in Missouri, meet seventeen-year-old Molly. Desperate to get out of her dead end town, she joins them and they set out for Connecticut.
Unaware they’re transporting something far more dangerous than drugs, they also don’t know Juanito’s boss, Mr. Dunbar, will do anything to find them before his crime boss finds out what’s missing. Though he sets three of his own on the trail, Dunbar doesn’t know his boss already knows and has put El Hijo de Huerta, his best assassin, on the hunt. El Hijo knows that he always completes his jobs. Always.
This suspense filled, dystopian adventure will keep readers on the edges of their seats as our heroes run into tight situations that appear to have no way out. I read it in just one day! As I read I could see it playing out in front of me on the big screen so, if any scriptwriters are out there, this is your next big blockbuster!
Highly recommended for ages 18 and older.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.