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Border Field Blues

Clarion Review (5 Stars)

Sparse dialogue and riveting scenes make this mystery impossible to put down.

A powerful new voice on the crime-fiction scene, Corey Lynn Fayman delivers a potent dose of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll in this escapade on the border between the United States and Mexico. The second book in his Rolly Waters mystery series, Border Field Blues features a guitar-playing musician in the role of an astute private investigator. A dry sense of humor enlivens one deadly scenario after another as Waters banters with a cast of eccentric characters who threaten to steal the limelight.

Tight editing, along with a Hemingway-style narrative, give this talented author a competitive edge. Sparse dialogue conveys only essential information, spurring this story down a treacherous path at a rapid pace. A simple investigation of illegal destruction in a preserve for endangered birds escalates into an unsolved nightmare of multiple murders and international prostitution. Money-driven insanity fuels this creative take on human trafficking, leaving readers in suspense until the end.

Descriptions set the scene in riveting detail, alternately fascinating and repelling. “There were other sounds too, ones he couldn’t identify, scratches and whispers. Wild animals came out of hiding at night, coyotes and whatever coyotes ate. Wild humans too, desperate, running away from their old life, in search of a new one, nocturnal creatures moving in darkness where the world would not see them.”

In this terrifying look at a world gone wrong, the Mexican border is more than a mere fence with a picturesque landscape on the distant horizon. “A faint whiff of excrement settled into Rolly’s nose, a singular note that stood out from the brackish chords laid down by the river. There was another smell too … the smell of blood.”

Mayhem ensues in this gritty snapshot of life in the transient zone—enough to make a seasoned patrol officer shudder in disgust. This story depicts a crime rooted in the depths of a deranged mind. If awards were given for originality in insane actions depicted in fiction, Fayman’s work would qualify for a nomination. Shocking and definitely R-rated, this well-crafted novel is not intended for the faint of heart.

Fayman resides in San Diego, where he has clearly absorbed the atmosphere for the setting of this novel. His background in music (he was once a digital music manager at MP3.com) enhances the personality of his musician protagonist, adding authenticity to Rolly Waters.

Fans of the original Sherlock Holmes mystery series will enjoy this contemporary take on methodical investigation, with a gruesome twist reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. Border Field Blues inches into the horror genre just enough to create a sense of impending doom and a page-turning urgency, making it impossible to put down.

Julia Ann Charpentier