Allegiance, a Thriller by Derek Blass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Whichever side you are on about the immigration debate, Allegiance hits you in the gut. Set in the borderlands of Arizona, in the frontera between the US and Mexico, Allegiance tells of the invisible war between migrants, militia, and drug mafia. Loyalties shift with the sands of the desert as Cruz Marquez, the activist lawyer finds himself imprisoned by a cruel and sadistic tyrant.
The story draws a complex thread around the debate, intertwining the poignant story of El Santo with the abused drifter, Tyler, and the mafia boss, Tzompantli, whose rite of passage was the fire beard, a network of burn scars where his beard would have been.
The action escalates when the unlikely alliance hits the militia compound with nonstop fighting, tension and violence. Women are not left out of the mayhem as Cruz's wife Sandra plays an unwilling but crucial role within the militia compound. A subplot with a group of teenage drifters enhances the depth of the story, and the ending is satisfying as Cruz insures safety for his family and the young drifter Octavio's social conscious is developed.
Hard hitting, Allegiance includes bad language, worse attitudes, and gruesome images. Be prepared to have your gut wrenched and your heart broken, as there are no winners in this relentless border war.
View all my reviews