Chekhov once said, "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it," and R. L. Coffield uses this technique masterly in her criminal drama, "Death in the Desert". The book opens with detective Ben Thomas investigating the Cactus Murders in the Arizona desert when he comes upon an illegal immigrant holding her two dead children. Ominously, from the hills above this heat blanched valley, two antagonists, Jake Starr and Bill Passkey with murky pasts look on as this complex tale of poverty, revenge, corruption and crime unfolds at the cross-roads where illegal immigration and the narcotics trade meet.
A love triangle between Ben Thomas, his ex-wife and a former partner and lover floats atop this criminal drama and gives the story a romantic counterpoint to its violent dénouement. Coffield leavens her story with enough hints and clues to make it a compelling mystery and it contains a rich attention to detail which gives the reader a feeling they're in room as the plot unfolds.
This book is a cogent examination of America's drug and immigration policies and should be required reading for anyone who thinks that there's no harm in just buying a "little" pot or cocaine. The novel is at times brutal and violent and at other times thoughtful and tender, but once the reader is swept up in this story it's very hard to put down. – Jeff Roberts, author of "Little Stories".
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Coffield has done it again! Diabolical villains, innocent victims, and noble but engagingly flawed heros weave their way through a tangle of mystery and intrigue as heated as the Sonoran Desert itself. A completely satisfying read that will leave you clamoring for more. – Paula Silici, Author and Editor
Death in the Desert is a fast paced thriller taken right out of the nightly news! R.L. Coffield brings back ace investigator Ben Thomas and Chloe Littlebird, the former Alaska State Trooper that fans came to love in Northern Escape. As Thomas and Littlebird investigate drug-related murders in the southwestern United States, Coffield again demonstrates an ability to combine convoluted plot, vivid characterization, and international tensions - a read that is terrifying in its implications! – Tom McDannold, Author, Publisher and Professor
The plot is terrifying and the action nonstop as Detective Ben Thomas, P.I. Chloe Littlebird and Arizona's Marshal Jake Starr uncover a conspiracy that will see a Mexican flag waving at the White House...This is a must read for anybody concerned with this country's border issues. – T. Jerome, Editorial Assist., Moonlight Mesa Associates