Sheriff Hackberry Holland had been notified by the FBI that a Federal employee had been abducted.
Danny tells Hack and his chief deputy, Pam Tibbs, that he overheard the killers refer to La Magdalena, aka Anton Ling, a free spirited Chinese woman who provided food and shelter for the impoverished people crossing the border. Danny also heard that the leader was a man named Krill.
Krill had been hired to find the missing Federal employee, Noie Barnum, as is Temple Dowling, a citizen soldier who employees a number of mercenaries. They believe that Barnum has information about the Preditor program and want to sell him to Al Qaeda.
The characters are bound together in their passionate struggle to survive in this desert area. The vivid Hackberry Holland has been compared to John Wayne in "True Grit." With the tension building smartly the sudden violence speeding the story along.
However, Holland tells of being a prisoner in the Korean war, which ended in 1953. Even if he was a twenty year old, this would make him almost eighty years old and it's difficult to see how someone of that age could accomplish the things he does in this story or for us to believe that his deputy, Pam Tibbs, had romantic feelings for him.
Holland seems like Dave Robicheaux transplanted to Texas, like Dave, he is a widower, attends Mass, dislikes government agencies and criticizes those who use bad language around him.
Even with that, this is a wonderful read and as imaginative as a modern "Lonesome Dove." I recommend it with its colorful characters and with the exciting climax.