Emulating his 19th Century literary hero FRANK NELSON, TIM KELLY runs away from home; fraudulently enlisting in the Coast Guard at the tender age of fourteen. Tim's quest for adventure takes him to Vietnam and back to Texas where he enters the shadowy world of drug and arms traffiking as an undercover Texas DEA agent. He soon realizes that his dangerous double life in the shadowy world of drug trafficking depends not only on guile but equally essential to his survival is his fragile communication lifeline to the civilized world. The lines of demarcation between the warm secure world he once knew and the dark violent world of drug dealers that he now survives in were no longer as clear as they were when he started.
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NOTICE: Point Deception is currently undergoing a minor revision and is temporarily unavailable through Eloquent Books. Hopefully the book will be back in circulation in the very near future published by PublishAmerica. I'm sorry for the inconvenience to my readers and thank you for hanging in there. PublishAmerica will also be publishing the sequel to Point Deception, The Campeche Reprisal.
Jim Gilliam, Author, Point Deception
Tim Kelly lies about his age and joins the Coast Guard at 14.
Almost a decade later, Tim’s military career takes him to Galveston, Texas where he’s reunited with his estranged father, James, a union organizer for a seafarers union.
Tortured for years from the troubled relationship with his father, Tim is eager to make amends and form a lasting bond with James. Before the two can make up for lost time, James is beaten to death by a union-busting criminal.
Devastated by his loss, Tim transfers to San Francisco where he butts heads with his commanding officer. Consumed by anger and facing a court martial, Tim elects to go to Vietnam for combat duty. At war with himself and now with the enemy, he finds some solace when he meets three friends from his past. But death follows Tim and his buddies are killed by friendly fire. Returning home to nothing but bad memories and with aless than honorable discharge, Tim begins a new life as an undercover DEA agent.
Earning the trust of one of the most infamous kingpins in the drug cartel, Tim is privy to some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. More tragedy awaits Tim when his cover is blown and he is tortured by experts. There seems to be no way out. Tim waits for the rescue that may come too late!
YOU HAVE NEVER LIVED until you have almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know.
Deputy Sheriff Dave Holt had been asleep for almost five hours when the beeper on the nightstand suddenly came to life—rudely jolting him awake!
The device’s sudden activation after over fourteen months of silence deeply troubled him.
The two word message on the small screen:
Confirmed his worst fears!
Undercover narcotics officer Tim Kelly, Dave’s young partner, had failed to check in through his normal secure communication channel.
Kelly had been undercover for over fourteen months and he had always checked in on time.
Until now, he’d never missed a contact. Above all else, he realized that his dangerous double life in the shadowy world of drug trafficking depended not only on guile but equally essential to his survival was his fragile communication lifeline to the civilized world. The lines of demarcation between the warm secure world he once knew and the dark violent world of drug dealers that he now survived in were no longer as clear as they were when he started.
Picking up the bedside telephone, Dave punched in a number he had committed to memory, praying as he did so that his young partner was still alive.
Rodolfo Guzman’s restored seventeenth century Spanish hacienda was a veritable fortress. Situated on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River, approximately fifteen miles inland from where the current of the Rio Grande collides with the tidal surge of the Gulf of Mexico, it was a symbol of his status in what had become one of the most powerful drug cartels in the world.
The proximity of the hacienda to U.S. territory would be the crucial element in the airborne rescue mission, already in place, should it become necessary to extract Kelly from the heavily fortified compound.
The coded number Dave punched into his telephone activated a volunteer team of Texas lawmen who would carry out a tri-fold mission committing them to an illegal, clandestine, armed incursion onto Mexican sovereign territory. They were to rescue Kelly if he was still alive, recover his body if he was dead, and in either case, lay waste to the hacienda killing as many members of the Los Lobos gang of Campeche Cartel enforcers as possible; it was a dangerous plan.
The digital clock on the nightstand indicated that it was 2:33 a.m. Saturday morning, February 17, 1968.
SIX DAYS PRIOR to the rescue team’s activation, Kelly’s old friend and mentor, Rodolfo Guzman, angrily confronted him with damning evidence of his deception, provided by his chief enforcer Raul “Rucho” Martinez.
“I would be very interested in your explanation of these photos of you and Deputy Holt of the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department.”
Rodolfo attempting, without success, to control his anger was jabbing his right index finger at several grainy black and white photographs that covered the top of his massive seventeenth century Spanish oak desk.
The photos Rodolfo was so excited about showed Kelly and his soon to be stepfather Deputy Sheriff Dave Holt having a relaxed lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. There was no apparent attempt by the two men to conceal the encounter.
“That’s simple!” Kelly snapped back adopting the indignant tone of one who has been falsely accused, at the same time he wondered if Rodolfo could detect the lie.
Maintaining eye contact with Rodolfo and striving to keep his voice free of panic, Kelly continued, “Dave and my mother are getting married in a couple of months. So I took my future stepfather to lunch. What’s the big deal? Just because I work for you now must I get rid of all of my old friends? Besides, Rucho and I have been sworn enemies since we were in junior high school together. He has a strong motive to discredit me since I whipped his ass in front of his gang of schoolyard bullies back then.”
“Just try to kick my ass now cabron!” Rucho snarled, moving menacingly towards Kelly.
Rodolfo checked Rucho’s advance with a wave of his hand.
Although he lacked the polish and finesse of the legendary fifteenth century Italian diplomat, Rucho was extremely intelligent, possessing guile and cunning worthy of a twentieth century Machiavelli. The façade he allowed those around him to see was the part he played best. For all intents and purposes he was just another muscle bound thug.
However, nothing is ever what it seems to be, especially in the dark world of drug peddlers and arms smugglers; the last person foolish enough to underestimate Rucho had simply disappeared. Rucho had coveted Rodolfo’s piece of the Campeche Cartel for years and was patiently biding his time until he could safely make his move. Soon! It would be soon, he told himself.
Kelly’s entry into the Campeche Cartel under Rodolfo’s sponsorship fourteen months earlier had begun to play an integral part in Rucho’s plans to violently overthrow his boss.
Rucho had long maintained that Rodolfo had grown progressively soft over the years and was no longer hard enough or ruthless enough to survive in the violent world of drug trafficking and arms dealing—this softness would be Rodolfo’s downfall Rucho predicted.
As Kelly was speaking Rodolfo appeared pensive, as though recalling happier days. Suddenly he asked, “Remember the first time we met?”
“I saved your ass when that gang of older boys was preparing to attack you.”
“We became friends on that day, and since then I have treated you as if you were my son. Have I not?”
“And that is why, mi hijo, your betrayal of our friendship and my trust has broken my heart. At first I didn’t believe Rucho when he came to me with his, what I thought to be trumped up charges of your treachery. So I decided to give you a little test--which unfortunately you did not pass.”
“I told you about a drug deal that was so big that you couldn’t possibly resist passing the information on to your friend Deputy Holt if you were truly the undercover DEA agent that Rucho assured me you were. Evidently you didn’t realize that you were the only one that I had confided in. So, please do not continue to desecrate our friendship with your pathetic protestations of innocence.”
For the moment Kelly remained silent, his mouth dry, his heart pounding. It appeared, for the time being at least, there was no way out of this deadly conundrum.