Full Court Press (2009)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (7/09)
Living down next to the border of Mexico, I constantly see articles about the number of illegal aliens that are crossing the border to get into the United States. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they are captured and sometimes they die in the extreme elements. But in these reports, they are just listed as numbers, not as people. In “Trounce,” George Beck tells a story about Emilio, a man from San Salvador who has illegally crossed into the United States with his friend Arturo.
Emilio is desperate to earn money to pay for cancer medications for his mother. He also still owes a steep fee to the coyote that took him across the border. When the coyote’s van has a flat tire Emilio and Arturo strike out on their own across the Arizona desert. They need to make their way to Los Angeles to catch their next ride that will take them to New Jersey where they can find work. When they encounter the wrong man in the desert, tragedy strikes for Arturo. This is the first incident that teaches Emilio about how evil man can be.
Forced to go on by himself, Emilio encounters a youth named Pedro and a beautiful American woman named Sara. Circumstances soon get Emilio trapped in Sara’s drama. When Emilio discovers that Sara is involved with a situation that could put the lives of thousands at stake, he has to figure out a way to stop the event from occurring without getting caught or killed. This is where the adventure really gets going.
Emilio and Sara have to learn to trust each other to stay alive. Even though they are from different cultures, in the end, they share the same hopes and dreams. They also learn to have courage. I really admired Emilio’s character, because even though he was doing something illegal by coming into the United States, he still held on to his values. He and Sara both learned a lot about courage and facing their fears.
“George Beck has created an excellent suspense thriller novel with “Trounce.” It truly kept me hanging on to the edge of my seat. Beck also developed a unique plot that in addition to entertaining you, it will also make you think more about the desperation that drives people to cross into our country. In doing this, it will lead to a lot of thought-provoking introspective questions. “Trounce” is justly a keeper.