Without Sin tells the story of Garret Harrison, a twenty-four-year-old who has joined up with the U.S. Border Patrol after a tour of duty in Iraq. His Cuban ancestry and fluency with Spanish make him an anomaly among the agents working on the border of Mexico and southern California. Harrison seems equally comfortable inhabiting both the Latin American culture of illegal immigrants and the rough-and-tumble culture of his predominantly lower-class white co-workers.
It is a great irony of the book that Harrison and his fellow agents spend most of the day trying to prevent individuals from entering American illegally, while at night these very same officers drive into Mexico to do things that are illicit on the American side. On one such visit to a Mexican brothel, Harrison meets a beautiful girl in her late teens. He falls madly in love with her, but it turns out that she is the favorite of the brothel’s proprietor, “El Cacique,” a Mexican gangster vaguely affiliated with Los Zetas. As Harrison becomes increasingly aware that “El Cacique” is above the law, not punished by society but actually accorded respect and profit for his brutal conduct, he decides to take matters in his own hands. Vigilante justice is swift, but it comes at a cost. Angelina and Harrison’s love will never be the same, and the justice Harrison dispenses is at best ephemeral.
A book rich in insights about the illegal immigration crisis and the interpersonal dynamics on the Mexican-American Border, Without Sin is a fast-paced work of character-driven fiction. Its major theme is the role that duty plays in our lives. It explores deeply the tension between our duties to other individuals, our duties in society and to our jobs, as well as the duty religion expects of us to do good, and certainly not to sin. The question of who is “without sin” seems to be asked everywhere in this book; given the agonizing circumstances in which the characters find themselves, David McCabe has made it awfully hard to cast the first stone.
|Page Count||276 pages|
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