3 out of 4 stars
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In the seedy underworld of drug smuggling, the Mexican cartel run by the infamous El Gato reigns supreme. It is unheard of to double-cross this man, or at least unheard of to do so and still come away alive. In One Final Run by Gordon Mack, the reach and power of this cartel are pitted against the infallible power of family, ex-military camaraderie and friendship.
Jeremy Luca, after getting a bit too far into the world of drug smuggling under El Gato, has decided it is time to get out. Skipping out on a smuggling run, he makes away with $300,000 worth of pure heroin and hides out on a small island in the Bahamas. Unbeknownst to him, El Gato is extremely suspicious of the ruse Jeremy has designed and sends some of the cartel's goons to expose him. Fortunately, Jeremy's brothers (and their ex-military Vietnam buddies) are also on the hunt to find out the truth about Jeremy's disappearance. The race is on, and Jeremy's life is in the hands of those seeking to help or hinder him.
This book boasts a fast-moving and action-filled plot that offers the reader a glimpse into the wholly unforgiving world of drug smuggling. I enjoyed the cat-and-mouse game that Mack provides by matching El Gato's efforts to find Jeremy with that of the Luca family and friends. What I liked the most, however, were some of the personalities involved beyond those already mentioned. In particular, I loved the Bahamian law enforcement officer named Simon. Although he was the only thing resembling a police officer in the area, he was bold, vicious, and absolutely unforgiving of what he colloquially referred to as "druggers." Although many of his actions were significantly over the top, he was a character that provided both comic relief and a shock factor that I have never seen before.
There were a few small things that I didn't like about this book. First, although the writing itself was exciting, it was far from a literary masterpiece. The writer fell short in portraying a masterful picture of his character's environment much of the time, focusing rather on the action and the plot. Another downside, and what I liked the least in the book, was how both El Gato and the Luca family had virtually inexhaustible resources at their disposal. I understand this comes up often in literature, but it minimizes the effect of the story when someone can beckon a private jet, ex-KGB agents, and elite snipers with the wave of a hand. Finally, and this may be a bit nit-picky, but in the world of drug smuggling, I would assume that $300,000 is a relatively insignificant amount of money. I get the impression that the entire book's premise is slightly overblown for the quantity of money involved. I did notice a few errors in grammar and spelling in this book, but it wasn't enough to take away from the story itself.
I genuinely did enjoy the action and plot surrounding One Final Run, and for that reason, I have no qualms about giving it a solid 3 out of 4 stars. If the author were to have shown a bit more literary prowess and if the book was a little more realistic when it came to money and power, I would have not have hesitated to give this novel another star. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to those readers that enjoy a fast-moving plot or enjoy one that delves into the seedy underworld of drug cartels. If you shy away from violence in your literature, I would steer clear of this one.
One Final Run
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