Clinton McKinzie, Author . Delacorte $23 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-33637-6

Antonio "Ant" Burns, special agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, is back with his trusty wolf-dog Mungo, rusty Land Cruiser the Iron Pig and berserker brother Roberto in the fourth installment of this adrenaline-juiced mountaineering, crime-busting series (The Edge of Justice ; Trial by Ice and Fire ; Point of Law ). Roberto, a dope addict, is on the lam when he is taken into custody by two FBI agents, the beautiful Mary Chang and the overbearing Tom Cochran. These two are planning to use Roberto to get the goods on Mexicali drug lord Jesus Hidalgo. After a tough turf war with rival gangs in Mexico, Hidalgo has moved to Wyoming, where he intends to set up a meth lab deep in an abandoned potash mine. Antonio is a straight shooter, both physically and morally—"That was why I'd become a cop. To enforce the rule of law"—and he joins the Feds, tracking Hidalgo down and sending in Roberto, who once rescued novice climber Hidalgo off a mountainside. Roberto's job is to get enough evidence to persuade a judge to issue a warrant for Hidalgo's arrest. The recalcitrant judge hampers the team's efforts and puts Roberto in grave danger, forcing Antonio to charge in and attempt a rescue. Antonio spends too much time agonizing over his relationship with the law, his crazy brother, his boss, the Feds and his pregnant girlfriend, but when the Burns brothers are high up on a rock face or hunting down evil banditos, the pace and intensity shoot skyward. Readers will find themselves hanging on by their fingernails as they wait to see who will fall and who will live to climb again. (May 3)

Forecast :Those interested in rock climbing and mountaineering provide a natural foundation for this series, though booksellers could profitably recommend all of McKenzie's books to thriller readers of any stripe.

Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-0-440-33493-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 464 pages - 978-0-440-24081-5
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