As you might expect, Mexicans don’t come across well. They are, for the most part, drug dealers and corrupt businessmen. A company that outsources jobs south is also depicted in an unflattering light: A portion of its Mexican-assembled computers are stuffed with cocaine before arriving in the United States.
A macho aura pervades the novel. The women are desirable, with “ample breasts” and “flowing blond hair”; one has a “spectacular body swaying like a ship on rough seas.” There are hosannas to firearms: An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent reflects on the pleasure of a “heavy metal pistol in his right hand.” The protagonist is an F.B.I. agent who played lacrosse at Harvard and can single-handedly beat up three thugs of Mexican extraction. Demoted after killing suspected border crossers on Mexican soil, he goes on to unravel a conspiracy that implicates high-level officials on both sides of the Rio Grande.
The true hero of the book, however, is a “straight-up and sincere” television host who is his “network’s most popular commentator,” generous enough to hold a goodbye party for a departing producer, tough enough to stare down an unscrupulous American executive. And his prescriptions for illegal immigration and terrorism are so cogent that even Mexican cartel heads grudgingly respect him.
She's not the only one swaying like a ship on rough seas. Be still, our literary hearts!