Born, James O.

Alex Duarte Series
Born, James O. - Florida Authors Field of Fire (2007)
From Booklist
A bombing in a Florida migrant-labor camp kills a child, and ATF agent Alex Duarte is assigned the case. The Justice Department links the incident to a series of union-related bombings across the country and assigns a DOJ lawyer to work with Duarte. The intended bomb target is petty criminal Alberto Salez, whom Duarte catches, then loses. The chase is on. Diffusing Duarte's inherent laser focus is the bomber, who still wants Salez dead, and the DOJ lawyer, who seems to know more about the case than she's letting on. Born, a law-enforcement professional, shifts narrative points of view among all the major characters and also tinkers with chronology to keep readers on their toes. Born dedicates his fourth novel to Elmore Leonard, whose influence is evident. Leonard's best books (think City Primeval, 1980) have been urban noir with flawed, hard-bark protagonists consumed by the pursuit. Duarte would fit right in. Born has talent and momentum; don't be surprised if, soon enough, he has his own, Leonard-like breakthrough. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Burn Zone Burn Zone (2008)
From Publishers Weekly
ATF agent Alex Duarte, who debuted in Born's Field of Fire (2007), remains a man of action but, alas, little else, in his second outing, an otherwise snappy, well-plotted crime drama set in Panama and New Orleans. Duarte and several other federal agents are trying to track down a drug lord known only as Mr. Ortíz, a shadowy Panamanian suspected of shipping tons of marijuana to the U.S. In reality, Ortíz is exporting something far more dangerous: a nuclear bomb. Born, himself a state police officer in Florida, offers the kind of real-life detail one would expect from a law enforcement professional. His previous series, which featured Florida cop Bill Tasker (Walking Money, etc.), stood out from the pack largely because of the layered persona of his protagonist. In contrast, Duarte has the requisite toughness, but aside from being a man of few words—particularly around the ladies—his character has few distinguishing features. Hopefully, Born will make his hero more a leading man than a background player in subsequent adventures. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bill Tasker
Born, James O. - Florida Authors Walking Money (2004)
From Publishers Weekly
Putting 17 years of service with various law enforcement agencies to excellent use, Born delivers a riveting, serpentine tale of crooked cops, police politics and a $1.5-million bag of money juggled from one pair of dishonest hands to another. Duplicitous Rev. Alvin Watson and his ex-con partner, Cole Hodges, have been skimming money from Miami's Committee for Community Relief, and everyone—Hodges, a bank manager and even smarmy, rotund FBI task force officer Tom Dooley—has got his eyes on the loot. With a riot for cover, all three aim for it, but it's Dooley who walks away victorious. Then hero Bill Tasker, a Florida state cop with (surprise!) a checkered past but an honest heart, gets framed for the crime, after Dooley stashes a loot-laden satchel inside Tasker's backyard grill and then alerts vulturous media outlets. Tasker gets both the theft and a murder pinned on him while the mother lode is shuffled a few more times, ending up in Dooley's hands once again. Swirling suspicion and startling plot twists keep readers' heads spinning as Born's direct, no-nonsense prose (complete with plenty of off-color remarks) propel this novel to its bullet-ridden conclusion. This is a terrific debut.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
Born, James O. - Florida Authors Shock Wave (2005)
From Publishers Weekly
An eccentric cast and a credible plot lift Born's second Florida-set crime novel (after 2004's Walking Money). Bill Tasker, agent in Florida's Department of Law Enforcement, is recovering from his divorce as well as from nearly being set up for arrest by a rogue FBI agent. He comes up against the usual local lowlifes when he busts the would-be seller of a black market Stinger missile. He suspects others might be involved, at first believing Daniel Wells, a repairman with a beautiful wife, to be in on the business. When evidence turns up that suggests otherwise, Wells is released—after which it is revealed that he might have been responsible for a recent deadly bombing and could be planning something even bigger. With the help of his friend, Miami cop Derrick Sutter, and the limited assistance of ATF agent Camy Parks, Tasker starts to dig. Wells has an uncanny ability, however, to stay just ahead of his pursuers. Brisk if a little confusing at the beginning as the plot threads are worked into place, the narrative picks up considerable speed and comes to a satisfactory, if open-ended, conclusion. Agent, Peter Rubie. (Apr. 21)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Born, James O. - Florida Authors Escape Clause (2006)
From Booklist
After a routine trip to the bank with his two daughters erupts in gunfire, Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Bill Tasker is sent to cool his heels and his gun by clearing up the death of a rich land developer's son who was serving time at Manatee State Correctional Facility. Justice behind bars is a tricky business, and fresh homicides soon complicate matters, as do both the escape plans of Tasker's clever old foe Luther Williams (aka Cole Hodges) and the proximity of two smitten ladies who threaten to be a major blind spot for our handsome hero. Tension mounts when corrupt prison officials try to throw a scare into Tasker, which isn't such a smart thing to do. While Lee Child's Jack Reacher has nothing to fear from the low-key hero of this standard-issue crime thriller, there are more than enough plot twists, tense standoffs, and authentic details to keep things interesting, and readers can look forward to this explosive sequel woven out of loose ends from Born's two previous books. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved





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