With drug wars and Cartels, the funds available to those in power can make almost anything happen. When the death of Olegario, the only son of a major Columbian drug lord occurs during an undercover operation by the DEA, the Don will take matters into his own hands. Someone must pay and he will have his revenge.
In Blood in the Meadows: Terror on the Strip by Dale Day, we follow the daily life of a cab driver, Jason Rourke. Retired from the military, he chooses to drive a taxi in Las Vegas. Picking up fares and moving people from place to place is easy and while he may not get rich, it pays the bills. After dropping off his current fare, he picks up another at the airport. This customer, Hernando Diaz is quiet and yet carries himself like old military. Jason understands quiet and allows him his solitude. In return, he receives a great tip. Diaz also asks him for his card for whenever he is in town and needs a driver. Fares like these are what make Jason’s job worthwhile.
What he does not realize is that Diaz is in Vegas for a very important meeting. This meeting could bring about the possible end of the notorious Sin City of America, as we know it. Diaz is careful though, he cultivates those few that he can trust to handle one of the biggest jobs of his career. Then he hands over the reins to someone else in order to remove himself from the circumstances as he begins the act of distancing himself from the terror.
There is only one thing he does not anticipate, and that is falling in love with Tomasa, an interesting and unique she/he that he meets at a bar. Knowing such a relationship would be unacceptable in his country he nonetheless finds himself enamored. He is also beginning to be uncomfortable about his assigned task, but understands he must carry out the plan or his life will be forfeited.
As the plans for an attack on Las Vegas are set, Jason, our cabbie, finds himself in the middle. He knows something must be happening, but is not sure what it could be. He reports his suspicions to an undercover officer he knows, but without further information, preparedness is impossible. When he and a reporter, Lupe, come together and begin to gather clues, they too come into danger. Following the suspects, they witness the practice of a bombing in an old farm out in the middle of the dessert. After reporting their further findings, the authorities and homeland security race against time to beat the terrorists at their own game. Do they have enough information to put protection in place and stop the possible bombings?
Jason and Lupe are in the middle of the information and yet they must find a way to stay safe. In addition, can Diaz keep his new love Tomasa safe, and remove the obstacles that keep them apart?
Day has given us a threatening possibility in which revenge is a motive for a terroristic move against Las Vegas. The city is chosen because of its draw of people, and the plan is to kill as many as possible to create a horror of untold proportions. The author has slowly built his case and drawn in the planning in such a way that you can follow the lines of intent. His characters are likable in most cases, while he drops in an unsavory group as well. Jason is an intelligent and charismatic man who is in the wrong (or right) place at the wrong time. He is smart enough to understand what he is seeing, and it seems to lead to untold trouble. He knows of Tomasa and likes her, but he is finding there is more to her than he understands.
Day has also given us a character who feels he is doing his job, which just happens to be revenge, but he somehow makes him likable. Diaz is an interesting mix, and it is hard to know how to take him. It is an odd and uncomfortable feeling and yet there it is. Dale Day has built on an unimaginable terror, a nightmare of planning that makes you wonder about the consequences of such a thing happening.
I would recommend Blood in the Meadows for the fan of the thriller genre. The story is quick and interesting and should resonate with those who enjoy suspense as well. The terror sticks with you long after the end, and leaves you wondering if such a thing could really happen. It creates an uncomfortable supposition, one that could be possible, or could it?