Billy Maddox Takes His Shot by Jay Lemming


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Billy Maddox reports for his new job as a Border Patrol agent in Nogales, Arizona.  He is a young man who is still trying to find his niche in the world, but is being a Border Patrol agent to right choice for Billy?

When Billy was a child growing up on a ranch in Cochise County, Arizona, his younger brother was killed in a shootout between the Border Patrol and drug mules from Mexico.  His father Hector came to hate the illegals that crossed his land, and eventually drew publicity for shooting one of them in self defense.  After that, his mother and father sold the family ranch and retreated to Tucson, and Billy’s family was never the same again.  Billy was brought up to hate Mexicans and the death of his brother became a taboo subject in their household, leaving Billy with a lot of inner turmoil and anger.

Billy is now 23 years old, married and has his own child.  He loves his family and wants to be a good husband and father, but his hot temper has kept him from being able to successfully hold down a job.  His wife has grown impatient with his failures, and she has given him one last chance to make things work before she takes their young son and leaves.

With all this baggage hanging over him, Billy embarks on his new career, trying to fit in and make a place for himself.  He knows that he could be setting himself up for a great failure, and he will need to fight his demons every step of the way.  Then, just when tensions at home get even worse, Billy finds himself exposed to the very real dangers of being a Border Patrol agent when he and his partner are pursued by drug traffickers and caught up in a deadly shootout.

When I read the description of this book, I was very interested.  I am an Arizona native, born in Tucson and this, along with the fact that the border situation is an ongoing controversy for all of us who live here in Arizona, grabbed my attention right way.  Even though the book takes place in 1999, immigration is still very much a hot topic across the country, as witnessed in the recent presidential election.  America’s population has become very torn on their feelings towards illegal immigration.  I was very surprised to find that the author, Jay Lemming doesn’t live anywhere near the border.  But he has done his research, and he does a great job here of touching on some of the opposing perspectives when it comes to illegal immigration.

There’s a lot to like about this book.  As I’ve said, it’s culturally and politically relevant to our times, but the fact that it’s about a border patrol agent also makes it unique.  There is also a riveting action scene.  But what I liked the most is that the author takes a keen look at the American family dynamic.  He touches on the very real human emotions, insecurities and struggles that take place within families.  I was very caught up in how Billy’s family and friends interacted with each other.  Even though the story is told from Billy’s POV, I felt as if I could relate to each and every person and what they were feeling.  This book is well worth the read.

I want to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

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