Drug Fires

Bruce Von Stiers

I recently read a book that reminded me of Joseph Wambaugh’s style of writing. Tom Baldwin is a beginning author who has had a novel published by Zumaya Publications. This novel is about a DEA agent and the Peruvian drug lord that he captured. The title of the novel is Firestorms.

Ethan Bainbridge is a detective on the LAPD. His sister succumbs to a drug overdose. After a run in with a Medical Examiner while dealing with his sister’s body, Ethan is basically out of a job. He ends up working for the DEA down in Peru.

Life in Peru for a DEA agent can be fun, exciting and dangerous. Ethan joins in the hunt for drug lord Pablo Chavera. The Peruvian government is after Chavera due to an assassination of a General that was attributed to the drug lord.

Ethan and his team try to capture Chavera but the drug lord eludes capture. Then an attempt at revenge by Chavera backfires, causing Ethan to strive harder to capture this scumbag.

Ethan and his team eventually capture Chavera and get him to the U.S. for trial. That is where the trouble really begins. It seems that Pablo’s brother, Roberto, is ever bit as nasty as his sibling. Roberto could be classified as a Narco Terrorist. He will stop at nothing to get the Americans to release his brother from captivity.

With everything that has been going on with the drug wars and how we have treated terrorism prior to September 11th, makes the premise for this book stand up. Drug lords are very bold anymore and probably wouldn’t hesitate to destroy buildings and kill hundreds, even thousands, of people to get their way. But most Americans, like Ethan’s character in the book, won’t stand for terrorism on U.S. shores.

Firestorms is a good novel of terror and detective work. Ethan is good at what he does, if given the chance. Roberto Chavera is a sociopath whose sole purpose is to free his brother, never mind the body count. The bit players, from the sniveling task force head, to a woman that becomes Ethan’s girlfriend, seem all too real.

As I mentioned earlier, Firestorms reminds me of a Joseph Wambaugh novel. The bio for Tom Baldwin doesn’t list him as coming from an LAPD or DEA background, but it sure seems like he very well could have been an agent or cop at one point. The fact that Wambaugh had been a cop is one of the driving forces behind his novels. Tom Baldwin writes with the same kind of force and determination.

Firestorms is available through the Zumaya Publications web site. The site can be found at www.zumayapublications.com.


© 2002 Bruce E. Von Stiers