by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Newly engaged, the only thing Galveston’s Tara Holloway loves more than her fiancé—fellow IRS criminal investigator Nick Prat—is tracking down tax cheaters and bringing them to justice. Wielding both a briefcase and a sidearm, Tara is a crack shot with more than her own share of broken bones, head injuries, and bullet wounds. Although one of her two latest assignments would seem more probable of again putting her life at risk, nothing’s guaranteed when the threat of the IRS is at one’s door. BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue) is asking for the IRS’s help in arresting Salvador Hidalgo, a suspected Coyote who has exploited and kidnapped multitudes of desperate Mexicans hoping to cross into the United States. Having managed to skirt the law because of victims too terrified of deportation to testify, BORSTAR is looking to the IRS to prove unreported income from human trafficking. Political pressure also has Tara investigating who has been submitting false 1099 forms that lead to victims being accused of not paying taxes on prizes they didn’t win. Why anyone would have reason to harass these seemingly unrelated complainants is as baffling as why Tara seems to be turning an unhealthy shade of orange.
As a time clock begins ticking on three young women being ransomed by a Coyote working for Hidalgo, Tara juggles her cases while tracing the connections between the victims. Thankfully, Tara and Nick’s mothers are more than willing to step in and assume command of wedding preparations, allowing Tara to focus on the investigations where the law doesn’t always match what is morally right. When tracking down possible illegal immigrants leads Tara to her ex-boyfriend, who could have predicted that it would take the compulsively watchable telenovela “Amor y Vengaza” to make her life seem boring while also showing Tara the key to the case?
Perhaps now more than ever the complex issue of illegal immigration needs to be examined, and here the author does so in a way that is both compassionate and fair. Sympathy definitely falls on those who risk their finances, imprisonment, and death for the chance of a better life in America. As Tara attempts to find alternative solutions and coax out the information she needs from frightened migrants, the human element becomes a factor far more than the letter of the law.
What should never be underestimated is just how fresh and amusing the characters remain throughout the eleven novels of this Tara Holloway series. The romance between Tara and Nick is just as sizzling as when it first began, and the author has never had to resort to clichéd breakups or miscommunications to keep their relationship evolving. This is a stunningly original and riveting mystery series that explores the unique law enforcement agency of the Internal Revenue Service. Tara is as deft at combat as she is with a ledger, and she never loses her enthusiasm for her the job she loves. More comfortable in steel-toed shoes than heels, Tara pursues her quarry through the chaos while never losing her sense of humor. This is a relentlessly entertaining series, packed full of as many laughs as action-packed scenarios. Tara Holloway is the one IRS agent readers will anxiously look forward to meeting again.
To enter to win a copy of Death, Taxes, and Sweet Potato Fries, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “fries,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 18, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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