Wednesday Poem: The Presence In Absence ~ Linda Gregg

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The Presence In Absence

Poetry is not made of words.
I can say it’s January when
it’s August. I can say, “The scent
of wisteria on the second floor
of my grandmother’s house
with the door open onto the porch
in Petaluma,” while I’m living
an hour’s drive from the Mexican
border town of Ojinaga.
It is possible to be with someone
who is gone. Like the silence which
continues here in the desert while
the night train passes through Marfa
louder and louder, like the dogs whining
and barking after the train is gone.

Linda Gregg

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Review: The Z Redemption ~ Daniel Wetta

The Z Redemption

A call for heroes! Is passionate love the transforming force that forges heroes? David James, ex-CIA agent and co-founder of a quasi- paramilitary group called the Zs, never expected to find passionate love in Mexico with a married business woman, Ana Valdez. Ana herself had surprises in life. She unwittingly became a living symbol, a national icon for the Mexican people sick to death of the corrupt government leaders who could not protect them from the bloody excesses of the drug cartels. While trying to hide their affair, Ana and David get sucked into the violent world that they are trying to upend.

They have friends in high places, including the President of the United States. In Mexico, their associates shockingly orchestrate a military coup. The Mexican Armed Forces sequester the Mexican President and most of the members of the Federal and State governments. With the help of the Zs, David and Ana feverishly work to manage the chaos which ensues in Mexico. Things quickly take a desperate turn when El Gato, a boss in Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel, personally targets David and Ana for his own self-serving purposes. He has shocking plans: to exploit them in his mission to build a “Narco-continent.” The bedlam of civil disturbance in Mexico and the United States as a result of the coup provides the perfect environment for him to accomplish his goals.

In addition to the Presidents of Mexico and the United States, the cast of characters includes leaders of international drug cartels; military commanders; young Zs like Enrique Santos who will fight for freedom and public safety; and Eduardo Ortiz, the crafty “king maker” behind the scenes of Mexican politics.In the center is David Wilson James, a man whose life of intrigue is book-ended by two passionate affairs with Mexican women who shape his extraordinary life. These are Annie Ortiz, Eduardo’s daughter, who is the ardent flame of David’s youth, and Ana Valdez, the younger woman of David’s older years, for whom David would give his life.

Redemption can only be achieved through blood and high purpose. Are the personal sacrifices of David and Ana sufficient to pay the ransom that will stop the advance of unconscionable evil? The Z Redemption cuts into the deep entrenchment of organized crime in the world we think we know. It shows the kind of courage ordinary people will be forced to muster in order to fight its cancerous growth.

 5 Thumbs-UpThis is a tense international thriller in the best sense of the word.  In his debut novel, the Author has made his mark and, if he continues writing the rest of the Trilogy in this manner, could well be on the way to standing up there in the ranks next  to masters such as Eric Van Lustbader and Christopher Reich.

There is a large cast of characters, but each of their back stories are so masterfully and seamlessly told, that there is no chance to lose track of who is who, and what their part is in this novel.  It is apparent from the way they are woven into the main body of the book, that a lot of time and thought went into the development of each character and, could possibly have been a result of the Author pulling from personal experiences with this particular group of people.

The plot is fast paced and intense; something we can all relate to in this day and age with the ever increasing news coverage of this type of event.  As with his character development, the Author has obviously invested a lot of time into his research and thought into how he was going to put this onto paper.  I really enjoyed this book and, have to say that this is the hardest review I’ve written so far, as to give it the full attention it deserves I would have to include spoilers, something I don’t do.  I am looking forward to reading the other two novels in this series to see where things go.

Even if political thrillers are not usually what you read, and they aren’t my go-to book, take the time to pick up a copy of this and jump right in.  Be warned though, you will need to, turn off the phone, put on comfy clothes and fasten your seat belt, as it’s a thrill packed,  unstoppable, page turning journey.

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