Going South of the Border for Story
I’m about to start T. Jefferson Parker’s thriller novel, “Iron River,” this weekend.
I’m curious about it because his milieu is the narco-terrorist crime spree on the U.S.-Mexican border. I touch briefly on this crisis in Act I of BREAKING POINT, and the issue is revived in the drafts I’m currently working on for the first Daria Gibron thriller (the title of which is still a work in progress).
It’s difficult to write with clarity a fictional account of an ongoing crisis, but Parker wins such praise for his novels, that I’m curious about his approach to it. I also immersed myself in as many journalism articles about the narcotrafficantes as I could, before I broached the subject.
Ironically, living in the Pacific Northwest and not having ready access to the LA Times (which has won kudos for its articles), the first, best coverage of the Mexican drug wars that I found was in al Jazeerra, the English-language website of the popular but controversial Middle Eastern news media.
As with the uprisings in Tunis and Egypt, I found al Jazeera to be miles ahead of many U.S. media outlets on this story. Curious. A media source based in Doha, Qatar, jumped on a drug war on the U.S. border faster than many U.S. media outlets.