source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of CHOKE POINT by James C. Mitchell (see his website)


    St. Martin's Minotaur, October 2004

    Arizona private detective Brinker doesn't want to go back to Mexico. When a pretty reporter asks for his help investigating a death and a story, Brinker turns her down. But when April Lennox becomes the next victim, Brinker feels personally involved. Unfortunately for him, everyone seems to be quiet and no one knows anything. The Mexican police think April's death is just another sex crime. The Arizona police have no reason to get involved--there is no obvious connection to the unidentified body on their side of the border. Which leaves Brinker with nothing but his instincts and an IOU he really hadn't wanted to call from Mexican drug-lords.

    A reporter makes enemies. One of those enemies just might be an ex-boyfriend who got abusive when his girlfriends didn't cooperate. Possible, but Brinker thinks the truth is more complicated. Because April had been investigating a story that involved oppression and murder, Brinker thinks of the maquilas--border factories set up by companies fleeing the wages of the USA. His suspicions become more pointed when he learns that a number of murders seem to have maquila connections. April could have been investigating one of those--but would someone really kill an alternative press reporter just to cover up a bit of union-busting?

    Author James C. Mitchell spins a delightful noire story. Brinker has problems with his women--April is murdered, his longtime girlfriend has left Arizona to move to New York, away from Brinker's dangerous life, and he can never quite connect with longtime best-friend Gabi. He ends up putting his trust in druglords who put even less value on human life than the maquila owners. Still, guilt and that strange private investigator honor keep Brinker on the job--until things get personal.

    Mitchell's writing gave me a strong sense of place--of windswept LA, the deserts of Arizona, and the frenetic border towns of Mexico--where jobs, money, drugs, and sex create a vibrant but dangerous society. Once the story really got going, it dragged me in and kept me reading. Nicely done, Mr. Mitchell.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 1/07/05

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase CHOKE POINT from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for CHOKE POINT from Barnes &

    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

    Check out the Alexa toolbar. It blocks pop-ups (you get to choose), it's free, and it tells you about what websites are popular and who owns them.