cover image Death Rattle

Death Rattle

Alex Gilly. Forge, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7733-3

Gilly’s impressive sequel to 2015’s Devil’s Harbor opens with gutsy Nick Finn, a Customs and Border Protection Marine Interdiction agent, diving into frigid waters 10 miles southwest of Newport Beach, Calif., to save 20-year-old Carmen Vega from a sinking fishing boat. His fellow agents assist Nick in the tense rescue of the 21 other passengers aboard the vessel, which is illegally transporting Mexican migrants to the U.S. Despite his heroics, an official complaint against Nick removes him from active duty, and he’s assigned to a reserve base in Riverside, pending an investigation. Nick’s human rights lawyer wife, Mona Jimenez, later represents Carmen, working valiantly to defend her from deportation. But while she’s awaiting trial, Carmen dies under suspicious circumstances in a privately run immigration detention center. Mona and Nick must fight to expose the sordid truth behind Carmen’s death and the shady practices of the for-profit prison company. Though short on action and heavy on legal detail, the book’s strong focus on character and the gripping immigration court drama will keep readers turning the pages. Thriller fans will want to see more of Nick. Agent: Farley Chase, Chase Literary. (July)

Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the year the Devil's Harbor was published.