cover image Make Them Cry

Make Them Cry

Smith Henderson and Jon Marc Smith. Ecco, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-282517-9

DEA agent Diane “Hardball” Harbaugh, a tough former prosecutor, draws on her courtroom skills in this intelligent, propulsive thriller set in 2007 from Henderson (Fourth of July Creek) and Smith. Harbaugh’s reputation for being tough but fair gains her the respect of Gustavo Acuña Cárdenas, a major player in the Cartel del Golfo, whose request for a private meeting in Tampico, Mexico, she can’t resist. The gangster wants to make a deal with her—inside information about the drug trade in exchange for a new identity in the States. It turns out that he is the last one alive who knows the location of a top-secret cartel project, and he fears that he’ll be executed next. Once in Mexico, however, Harbaugh discovers she isn’t the only one looking for Acuña Cárdenas after she meets Ian Carver, a former CIA agent working with a group of ex-military operatives who provide a specialized, shadowy type of service south of the border. Soon Harbaugh and Carver are on the run from just about everyone—the cartel, the global intelligence community, and perhaps even their own government. Flawed, flesh-and-blood characters provide nuance and depth, and the authors’ grasp of global politics is on full display. Fans of Don Winslow and T. Jefferson Parker will be enthralled. Agent: Nicole Aragi, Aragi Agency. (Sept.)