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The Death and the Life of Bobby Z

Tim Kearney, a decorated Gulf War vet, is a three-time loser facing life without parole in a California prison in The Death and the Life of Bobby Z by Don Winslow. The DEA gives him the chance to impersonate the notorious drug smuggler Bobby Z in an exchange of prisoners with a Mexican crime lord — a gambit that might win him freedom — and Kearney accepts the risk. When the prisoner exchange turns deadly, Tim is snatched by armed men and held captive in a secret desert fortress, where he meets a beautiful woman (are there ever any other kind, in stories like these?) who warns him he’s to be killed. Assassins by the score chase after them. The inevitable slaughter ensues, and — yadda, yadda, yadda — the end. C

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