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Tequila Sunset is out on 1 November 2012 in the UK, in paperback, from Serpent's Tail.
El Paso and Ciudad Juárez sit across the Texas/Mexico border from each other. One gang claims territory in both: Los Aztecas. This single criminal organisation is responsible for most of the homicides committed in Juárez, and Felipe Morales is one of them. Recruited in prison, and now on the streets of El paso, "Flip" has no choice but to step further into that world, but he has a secret that threatens his life. A witness to murder and intimidation, he tries playing both the cops and the outlaws in a bid to escape. On the American side, El Paso detective Cristina Salas struggles to balance the needs of single motherhood with those of life in the city's anti-gang unit. When her path crosses with Flip, their relationship will spell the difference between a life behind bars for the young gang member, a grisly death, or freedom.
In the summer it was hot, in the winter it was cold and all year round the halls and cells of Coffield Unit were busy with the business of incarceration. This day it was not so bad, teetering between two extremes. The ceiling-mounted fans did not turn and the big heating units that blew and blew, but did little to chase away the chill, were silent. Flip lined up with the convicts, dressed in their white cotton uniforms, waiting for the COs to open the door and let them out onto the yard. Barred windows let in sunshine to compete with sallow fluorescents. It would be good to be outside.
Born in Texas, Sam Hawken now lives in Washington DC. He is the author of Tequila Sunset (November 2012, Serpent's Tail). His first novel, The Dead Women of Juárez, also set on the US/Mexico border, was shortlisted for the 2011 Crime Writers Association New Blood Dagger for the best debut crime novel of the year.