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Rosarito Beach (Agent Kay Hamilton #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  405 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
The start of a big, commercial, crackling, suspense filled series featuring a sexy, tough-gal DEA agent, Kay Hamilton—perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter, Patricia Cornwell, and Sara Paretsky.

Bold, brash, and beautiful, Kay Hamilton is not your average DEA agent—she’s as infuriating as she is irresistible. Having recently moved to San Diego after a case in Miami brought he
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Blue Rider Press (first published December 13th 2013)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it
For the most part I enjoyed this book. It is definitely action packed and captured my attention to the very end.

My main issues with this book lie with the main character. I wanted to like her - her being a bad-ass DEA agent, with a strong personality, but I just couldn't. The focus seemed to be on HOW bad-ass she is, bossing people around, threatening to fire them or suspend them, formulating plans with no regard to herself or others, etc. There seemed to be nothing else to her. Her blaise atti
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rosarito Beach by M.A. Lawson

This is a fast paced page turner that is a very easy and enjoyable read. The larger than life law enforcement officer is a female who is willing to do anything to get her man. The plot has everything: Mexican cartels, a long lost daughter, a mother who will go to the ends of the earth to save her child, wild law breaking by the law enforcers, deceptive chess playing by the good and evil at its best, and oh yea, and the bad guys not getting out of the story in one pie
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense, liked-it
DEA Agent Kay Hamilton doesn't play well with others not even coworkers but she brings in the bad guys and she doesn't care. And when she arrests the young brother of powerful drug lord Caesar Olivera she knows that there is nothing Caesar wont do to do get him out of jail. Including declaring open war on the U.S.

But she doesn't count on him kidnapping her daughter to get her to help his brother escape. Things don't go as well as Kay or the Cartel hopes. Now Kay's only hope on saving her daughte
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I should start this review by saying that I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program.

Heading the investigation into a Mexican drug cartel, DEA Agent Kay Hamilton is willing to take any risk to bring down Tito Olivera in the hopes that it will lead to convicting his older brother, Cesar Olivera, as well. With Tito's arrest, things seem to be falling in line perfectly for Kate until Cesar Olivera retaliates. When a person from Kay’s pas
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Easy to read and suspenseful...I gave it three but I'm feeling 3.5. I guess this is the first in a series? I kind of felt like it was the second book...if not it should have been because it sounds like a lot went down in Miami that could have been a book!! I had a hard time warming to Kay. That she gave up her baby years before with no regrets and never looked back then became vigilante mom after knowing the kid for a few weeks is off kilter to me. Maybe in future books she will loosen up and we ...more
Les Roberts
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Most enjoyable read! Dynamc, sexy protagonist with more guts and nerve than any ten fictional cops, a bizarre story with lots of twists, and an edge-of-your-seat climax. For hard-boil readers, this is a Don't-Miss.
Janice Llewellyn
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was an easy read; fast paced, and enough action to keep me interested. The plot was a little far fetched and the ending pretty implausable, but it was good escapism. I didn't like the main character too much. She was a cold, hard woman doing (and loving) a brutal job as DEA agent Kay Hamilton and not much else. The connection with her daughter after 15 years doesn't change her very much. The author did a OK job, though, and I would read another of his books.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit
I quit this book because I really didn't care for the main character.
Mar 05, 2017 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Mckenna
Good detective based story held your interest enjoyable read.
Pat aka Tygyr
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kay Hamilton is a kick ass DEA Agent. But she has no empathy for her co-workers, or much in the way of people skills. She is the lead on a case trying to arrest Tito Olivera, the brother of the main drug cartel in Mexico. Caesar Olivera has so many Mexican officials and cops on his payroll that he is pretty much untouchable, but his brother Tito who is heading up the drug cartel in the CA area where Kay is currently working is fair game. Kay sometimes is not totally truthful in order to get the ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read a couple of Mike Lawson's books about Congressional Investigator Joe Demarco that I thoroughly enjoyed. Writing as M. A. LAWSON, he has created another series, this one featuring D.E.A. Agent Kay Hamilton. The first in that series is ROSARITO BEACH. I am looking forward to reading more stories featuring Agent Hamilton.

Book One is set primarily in San Diego, California; U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico just across the border from San Diego. Brot
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm afraid Rosarito Beach, author M. A. Lawson's first installment in a series featuring this heroine wasn't my kind of book really. It was an interesting enough action-packed plot that I did enjoy, however, and I am confident many readers will rate this novel highly and follow the protagonist, Kay Hamilton, in her future fictional endeavors.

For example, although I am not as well-read in this sub-genre as would be ideal to make recommendations, I can say that from the first few pages of Rosarito
Tony Parsons
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
DEA Agent Kay Hamilton is fairly hot & if you’re on the wrong side of the law someone you don’t want to have to deal with. She just transferred from Miami to San Diego where she had just wrapped up a high profile case. Kay upon arrival is assigned to an international drug case.

Tito Olivera, is the younger brother of drug czar Caesar Olivera. Tito got into some serious trouble so DEA Agent Kay Hamilton takes him into custody.

The Olivera cartel plans on rescuing Tito as he’s being transferre
Ted Lehmann
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller readers
Rosarito Beach by M.A. Lawson (Penguin: Blue Rider Press, 2013, 352 pages, $26.95) is an interesting and problematic novel. M.A. Lawson is a pseudonym for Mike Lawson, author of the well regarded nine volume Joe Demarco series, and is the first in a projected Kay Hamilton series. Although written from a third person perspective, this book purports to present Kay Hamilton from her own point of view, with a male writer interpreting it. The selection of the pseudonym M.A. seems to be a thinly veile ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kay Hamilton is a babe. She is also brave, brassy and she rubs a lot of people the wrong way. And she is a cop. Well actually, she is a DEA Agent, if you want to get technical about it. With a major bust in Miami, before her current posting to San Diego she is a rising star in the agency. Well–except for that part where she manages to piss off everyone working under her supervision. Be that as it may, through hard work and a bit of arm twisting she lands another big drug bust. Tito Olivera, brot ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
Kay Hamilton, the novel's main character, is almost a caricature of a hard driven career woman. A brilliant DEA agent, her co-workers pretty much despise her because of her all-work-all-the-time attitude. She also drinks a fair amount and sleeps around. I actually found her character amusing because she was so over the top. Partway through the book, the tone changes when Kay's long-ago daughter given up for adoption shows up on her doorstep. A vicious Mexican drug cartel (is there any other kind ...more
Randee Baty
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the start of a highly entertaining thriller series that I think will do really well commercially. Is that a negative comment? Quite the opposite! The book is pure fun!

What it reminded me of was watching an episode of Burn Notice. Fast action, plots within plots, fun characters, lots of government agencies. Kay Hamilton works for the DEA and had some spectacular success in Miami. Now in California, she's on the trail of the brother of the biggest drug boss in Mexico. Capturing him is actu
Nick Brett
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting one from the author of the (very entertaining Joe DeMarco series). Here, under a slight variation of his name, Mike Lawson gives us a strong female protagonist thrown into a story with considerable pace.

Kay Hamilton is a DEA agent, passionate about what she does, ambitious and a little bit self-obsessed. She manages to capture the little brother of a ruthless Mexican cartel leader and the fallout from that is considerable in the fact that the bad guy will stop at nothing to get hi
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
The book started out with the main character being, for lack of a better word, caricature, and somewhat of a cliche, so the beginning was fun, but not every compelling. After a bit of a plot twist a third of the way through the book, the main character gets more interesting, and the book kept me engaged. With the appropriate expectations, this can be an enjoyable read. This story was more than a bit over-the-top (not unexpectedly), and there were times where I wondered why I started the book, bu ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
This book captured my attention right away and kept me engrossed throughout. It was fast paced and filled with action and suspense. I had a difficult time warming up to the main character, Kay Hamilton, but eventually came to like her. My issues with her were mostly that she seemed very self centered and didn't appear to examine or care about if something was right or wrong before she did it. As she gains responsibility and starts to care for someone other than herself, this seems to change for ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: series, mystery, 2014
I am tired of male authors who, after having success with a male protagonist series, try their hand at a female lead. And then treat her like their favorite wet dream of a tough girl.

Kay Hamilton is yet another cookie-cutter brass-balled b*tch with an impressive rack, authority issues, and the sexual mores of an alley cat. She is unsympathetic and her turnaround is hard to believe. The one or two times that true emotional scenes or possible character development seem about to happen Lawson intr
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved Kay Hamilton, DEA agent, who plunges into action regardless of the danger and usually comes out with the bad guys on the losing end. This time a drug kingpin in San Diego goes down and his billionaire brother in Mexico will go to the ends of the earth to free him--either legally or by force. Force becomes the option so law enforcement bodies litter the landscape, Hamilton is forced to help the Mexicans after they kidnap her daughter, and following the ingenious breakout of the drug lord ...more
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
The story line is fine, although it's good just a few too many characters of convenience (the wealthy honest Mexican federal cop who openly lives in Tijuana among the smuggling cartels? Hard to suspend disbelief here.) The writing, however, is clumsy. My fave LOL sentence? "Instead of a pocket protector, he had a large, black semiautomatic pistol shoved in his belt." So much wrong there, not the least of which is a terrible satire of Mickey Spillane.

There's an obvious lead to a sequel, so perhap
Ronald Wilcox
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First in a series starring Kay Hamilton, a DEA agent based in San Diego in this novel. Hamilton is a career-oriented agent who has set her sights on arresting Tito, the American brother of Caesar, head of a major Mexican drug cartel. She succeeds in arresting Tito and has him placed in custody in a marine base to prevent his brother from springing him while awaiting trial. She is forced to commit some crimes though when Caesar has a significant person in her life kidnapped and she must develop a ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
The thing I found most likable about this book was the San Diego setting. It was fun to compare notes with the author about familiar places in San Diego.

The story was along the lines of tough crime-fighting gal alienates people and takes unconscionable risks, breaks a lot of eggs, then has a life-changing experience that makes her more likable while still being effective. (Trying to avoid spoiling the story for future readers....) Ultimately she finds a way to reconcile the two sides of her natu
Kim Dorgan
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won this book as a first reads giveaway and I'm glad I did. I have never read anything by M. A. Lawson before and enjoyed reading this book. I liked the way the book was written. It didn't drag at any time and the story moved quickly which kept the story going and kept my attention. I especially like the main character, Kay Hamilton, and the development she made throughout the book. At first I didn't like her and thought she was a bitch, but then when the plot twist occurred I couldn't help bu ...more
Joe Reto
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
The newest smart sexy risk-taker on this side of the law is drug enforcement agent Kay Hamilton. The chances Kay takes in Rosarito Beach are legendary. By the end of the book her personal life has some how gotten better and her professional life has taken an unexplained turn. I am looking forward to the next story about the strong-willed Hanilton and more of her quasi-misadventures. To those of you liking a detective working 'outside the box' Rosarito Beach is a good read. I'm looking forward to ...more
Dan Leblanc
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A resourceful DEA agent Kay Hamilton forces Maria Delgado to go undercover to try to entrap a major drug smuggler, Tito Olivera, which is the brother of the Mexican kingpin, Caesar Oliver is the leader of this cartel family. Things start too unravel when Kay's biological daughter that she gave up for adoption shortly after birth shows up at her doorstep and gets abducted by this ruthless cartel family for ransom. Fast moving thriller, keeping you on the edge of your seat till the last page.
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I really like Lawson's writing and am a fan of the DeMarco series. I had a lot of trouble liking the main character in this one though, to a a point where I probably wouldn't read the rest of the series if he chooses to continue it. I'm not sure I'm a fan of where he'd be taking the series if there are more but to each their own. Again, I'm a fan of Lawson and the book is "ok" but not one of my favorites.
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M. A. Lawson is a pen name for award winning novelist Mike Lawson, former U.S. Navy and creator of the eight novels in the Joe DeMarco series.
More about M.A. Lawson...

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