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Triple Crossing

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Valentine Pescatore, a volatile rookie Border Patrol agent, is trying to survive the trenches of The Line in San Diego. He gets in trouble and finds himself recruited as an informant by Isabel Puente, a beautiful U.S. agent investigating a powerful Mexican crime family.

As he infiltrates the mafia, Pescatore falls in love with Puente. But he clashes with her ally Leo Mendez...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 10th 2011 by Mulholland Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"

This is an intelligent thriller written by a guy with an impressive background in journalism.

You can cross Tijuana off your list of vacation destinations. The same goes for the "Triple Border" where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina all connect. That is, of course, unless you like the sound of gunfire and the sight of dead bodies and the smell of alcoholic drug addicts. In that case, be my guest. Be sure to pack your body armor.

Triple Crossing takes you into the chaotic world of corrupt border p...more
Daniel
First, I want to thank the publisher, Mulholland Books, who sent me a free advanced reader edition of this book. Thank you.

"Triple Crossing" is the kind of book that made me want to read other books. I want to know more about South America and its different countries and peoples. I want to know more about the crime that Rotella describes. I want to read more South America writers, and to get a feel for the histories and cultures that formed them, even as their words worked their own changes. Mor...more
James Thane
Triple Crossing: A Novel takes place mostly at the intersection of politics and the "war" on drugs along the perilous U.S. border with Mexico. It's a book that will probably cause you to throw your hands up in despair; it may also break your heart.

Valentine Pescatore is a young man who has escaped a troubled past in Chicago and joined the Border Patrol. He's still trying to figure out who he is and what his place in life might be. More sympathetic to the illegal immigrants he encounters than man...more
Brad Hodges
Triple Crossing is a crime thriller by Sebastian Rotella, who clearly knows his stuff when it comes to borders. Two play prominent roles here: the one between the U.S. and Mexico, specifically at Tijuana, and the so-called Triple Border, a no-man's land where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet.

The novel uses two protagonists, and throughout the book the chapters alternate from two points of view. One is Valentine Pescatore, a U.S. Border Patrol agent who is young, impetuous, and just barely on...more
Kathy
Excellent debut novel by Sebastian Rotella. Triple Crossing refers to the three country junction of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina in South America which is similar to the Mexico/US border with its smuggling of people and goods. Corruption and militaristic governments are the norm in the area. I have dozens of friends who grew up in Mennonite colonies in the area and I have heard endless stories of violence and corruption that has existed for decades.

The story follows Border Patrol rookie Valent...more
Zakariah Johnson
Sebastian Rotella's debut covers much of the same ground as 2005's "Power of the Dog," but with more journalistic authority and less story-telling power. Rotella is reporting truth here, not just telling a tale, but the momentum bogs down a bit in details that are provided in narrative descriptions outside of the flow of the action. Most of the English-speaking world is sadly cut off from Latin America more effectively by the deep moat of language than by any fence we could erect, so Rotella's b...more
Johnny
There is no doubt that Sebastian Rotella knows the Mexican border, particularly the San Diego/Tijuana border. The detail in both the day-to-day life and the political framework are the strength of this novel. He really brings the reader into the world and the surreal and overt corruption that every knows about, yet nobody can seem to do anything about.

If there is a weakness to the book is that narrative voice feels so far removed that it makes the reader feel like they are watching not just from...more
Michael Martz
This is a fine effort for a new novelist who is actually an experienced international reporter. It's well written, with a pretty believable plot and a lot of action.

One thing that really improves the reading experience for me is when I learn something about an unfamiliar subject. I've lived in the Chicago area for nearly 25 years, which is quite far away from the border with Mexico, and am not as conversant about the issues related to border security and drug issues in that part of the country a...more
Anya
I like the way the story is told, how he finishes each chapter with that dose of secrecy so you don't know what happened with the character until you continue reading the next chapter and the next chapter is focused on some other character. Like the author's playing mind games with readers. But it keeps the story interesting and spicy.



I love spies, undercover agents and their stories. Valentin Pescatore was born to be an undercover agent. Eventhough he wasn't trained for one it came to him as na...more
Chelsea
I really enjoyed reading this book. I was supprised at how great it actually was. I highly reccomend this book, I was pulled into the story from the very first page of the book. I got this book from a goodreads give away. This book made me laugh, laugh harder, and had me rutting for the charactors in this book.
Rick Radinsky
A great story. This author is able to take authentic places, circumstances, dialects, and archetypal characters and blend them into a plausible, and exciting, story.
Toni Osborne
This novel tells the story about the pursuit of justice by law enforcement on both sides of the U.S. and the Mexican border. It explores and dramatizes the violence and corruption in the drug trade and the human smuggling while at the same time honoring the honest Border Patrol agents on both sides who resist the cartels and often pay a heavy price.

This fast paced thriller has two heroes: working the trenches between San Diego and Tijuana is Valentine Pascatore, a no-nonsense Border Patrol agen...more
Jim Leffert
Triple Crossing is a richly detailed, crackerjack novel about the intersection of organized crime, law enforcement, and political maneuvering on both sides of the California-Mexico border. Rotella seems to have distilled the fruits of more than two decades of reporting in the region into this fictionalized exploration of the activities of a well-connected and powerful Mexican organized crime family, whose activities include drug smuggling, illegal immigration, political corruption, and potential...more
Mark
As a journalist, Rotella tells it the way it is, straight talk, all facts about life south of the border. A Pulitzer finalist, he found many stories he could never fully substantiate, tales all fascinating but unprintable for a newspaper. Taking all these fables, gossip, innuendo, and rumors, he works them into a border story the likes of which you have never read and treats us to his debut novel.
Valentine Pescatore, a wannabe street punk from Chicago is given one last chance to straighten up hi...more
Ken
What sets this novel apart is that it is written by an award winning investigative journalist who specializes in International Border Issues, and the reader is treated an adventure-packed thriller which demonstrates fairly accurate government policy of Mexico, South America, and the US.

Valentine Pescatore is a rookie US Border Patrol Agent who works for a crooked supervisor, and is drawn into a situation in which he is forced to become a double agent within a Mexican criminal organization with i...more
Sean Branson
This was an interesting story about a Border Patrol agent that finds himself on the wrong side of the law, embedded with the death squad of a ruthless Tijuana drug cartel. Shortly after being recruited as an informant detailing the activities of a suspicious Border Patrol agent, Agent Pescatore was involved in an unfortunate series of events that took him from Mexico to South America as his crew attempted to evade a multi-national group of agents that are hunting them down. There were several tw...more
Tony
TRIPLE CROSSING. (2011). ***.
This is a first novel from this author, featuring what is likely to be a series hero, Valentine Pescatore, a rookie Border Patrol agent stationed at the border above Tiajuana. He’s an agent with a heart of gold, deploring the methods used by his co-workers and, especially, his boss. While chasing an illegal immigrant who managed to set free a truck-full of captured illegals, he breaches the borer and continues to give chase into Mexican territory. When he finally ge...more
Brick Barrick
Pretty good story about the conflicts between the border of Mex and USA.
Good action. I thought he threw in the love interest just to spice it up a bit and it wasn't really that believable. But other than that, I was entertained.
Mark white
Gripping, complex, fast-moving. The characters are skillfully drawn and the main characters change gratifyingly. Most of the novel takes place in exotic locales, but to Rotella's credit, the locales serve the plot and neither take over nor lead readers in unnecessary ramblings.

Rotella's context of the corrupt Mexican government is expected, as is the routine corruption of the border service. But he ominously hints at dark levels of cynical intelligence agencies and political interference play on...more
Scilla
I had a little trouble getting started, but then really liked the book. Valentine Pescatore is a US border control agent out of San Deigo. He chases a Mexican smugler into Mexico, and is recruited by Isabel Puente as a spy on his boss. He falls in love with Isabel, who is working with Leo Mendez, a Tijuana policeman heading up the Diogenes group, working against corruption in the police. Pescatore manages to get himself into the hideout of Junior Ruiz Caballo, the head of a huge smuggling, mafia...more
Jeremy Hornik
An organized crime thriller told from two sides of the border. On one side, a US border agent gets deep into illegal activity as a mole for a beautiful woman. On the other, a Mexican policeman fights through the swamp of corruption to bring down a drug lord. Pretty melodramatic stuff. But the author is a journalist, and the entire story is well seasoned with new and interesting information about life in border cities: first San Diego and Tijuana, and later Quito and Argentina and Mexico, the "Tr...more
Autumn
Jun 04, 2012 Autumn added it
Triple Crossing was confusing. Maybe if I read it in print form, with some highlighters and post-its I could have had a better time with it. It started off fine, but I was listening to the audiobook and I had trouble keeping all the characters straight and who they were and how they fit into the story. The reader made everyone sound like Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite, even the main character who was supposed to be an Argentinian Italian from Chicago, yes he was Spanish speaking with a funny accen...more
Harley
Border Patrol agent Valentine Pescatore works the San Diego- Tijuana Line. He understands the rules, but cannot help feeling for some of the women and children caught in the righteous political anti-illegal immigration fever. In fact he has given money to some of those he arrested. Sebastian Rotella pulls no punches in this dark look at working undercover amongst extremely dangerous people. The story line is action-packed while containing a strong cast and not just the three above as for instanc...more
Ellen Pierson
This fast-paced thriller will make insinuations about crime and corruption on the southern border that you will not soon forget! Triple Crossing is in some ways analogous to The Wire in the way that it dramatizes the less than clear-cut interactions between criminal and law enforcement organizations. You’re left feeling that you may have a better understanding of both, but that you’ve also lost a little bit of faith in the idea that law and order will prevail, or that it really even existed at a...more
Monica Skeens
This book has taken me forever truly to read. I had quite a bit of difficulty following along and getting through especially the first part of the book. The boarder patrol agent gets caught up in an undercover operation against a cartel and a little twist of romance in there. Like I said I had a difficult time reading this I don't know if its because of the way the author wrote or I just could not get into this book. I appreciate the chance to read and review even though it was not my most favor...more
Claudia Mosey
This was a free read,advance proof,from Librarything.I really enjoyed this book.Had I looked at this book in the library,or on Amazon,I know I would not have chosen it for one of my reads.That being said,it does read like a "man's read",border patrol,U.S.Agents,Mexican crime familes, South America,smuggling and corruption. Once I got started,I stayed with it,I liked the main characters and the story of border patrols was intriguing.I wil pass this one on to my male cousin,who loves to read.
Lisa
A very good Ludlum-esque novel. As another reviewer commented, this is a book that makes me want to read more books - about the border, about Mexico, about South America, and about drug cartels. I will also keep an eye out for any future books by Sebastian Rotella.

(Note: I received a free advance reading copy of this book from the publisher at an American Library Association Annual Conference. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Mulholland Books and Little, Brown!)
Tom Tischler
Valentin Pescatore is a rookie Border Patrol agent trying to survive along
the San Diego border. He gets himself in trouble and is recruited by a US agent
named Isabel Puente who is investigating a powerful Mexican crime family. He
finds himself in the triple border region of South America and a showdown full of
bloodshed and betrayal. This is a first book and the writing needs a little
improvement. Given a little time I think we will have a new thriller writer here.
Brian
A well-written and plotted crime thriller, all the more impressive for being a debut novel. I particularly enjoyed the settings and characters since they were of a type previously unfamiliar to me: US/Mexican border, the Triple Border in South America, and the various criminals indigenous to those areas. Romantic subplot was a bit improbable but not overly intrusive. Would make a good movie.
Andy Plonka
This was a difficult read for me as it is liberally sprinkled with untranslated Spanish words that are unfamiliar to me and I know little about the slang associated with drug trafficking which also plays a prominent role in the book. That aside I did learn about some of the problems of the Border Patrol with drugs and illegal aliens and how different Border Control agents deal with the problems.
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