Monday, November 26, 2012

Revenge in Baja


David J. Holleman’s Blue Baja is aptly subtitled “a novel of lust, murder, and revenge,” with the theme of revenge resonating powerfully throughout his page-turning story of organized crime and corruption.  Luis Huerta, the drug kingpin of Baja, has spent his life dedicated to revenge, making many enemies along the way, one of which vowing his own revenge against Huerta.

After the ruling drug lords attempt to show Huerta who is in charge, he vows to “get even, in spades,” forming a team of ruthless killers who murder the existing distributors, sending a shocking message of revenge when the headless bodies and pile of heads make the news.  Huerta takes control of the drug trade in Baja, exacting revenge on anyone who attempts to hinder him.  When narcotics detective, Alfonso Corrales begins building a case against him, threatening to topple his regime, Huerta takes cruel and sadistic revenge on him, destroying everything that he holds dear.

Huerta becomes the “object of all the hate that Alfonso’s body was capable of having,” wishing for revenge of his own, wanting him dead and to be the person who kills him.  In the meantime, “if he could twist a knife in Huerta’s body by harming him in any way it would just be more turkey along with the mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce.”  Huerta accrues other enemies along the way, just as intent on destruction as Corrales, seeking to meet his revenge with their own.

Holleman illuminates many themes throughout Blue Baja, from the nature of organized crime to a psychological exposition of murderers.  Revenge, in Blue Baja, has devastating consequences, and karma eventually comes back to those who seek it.  Holleman’s powerful portrayal of revenge rivets readers from cover to cover, as the plot unfolds before them, drawing them into his compelling tale of lust, murder, and revenge.

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