The Land Grant
Carlos Cisneros. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2012. 360 pp. $16.95, paper. ISBN 13: 978-1-558-85706-3
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
by: Peter Fekety

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Peter Fekety, Fort Worth Public Library, TX

Lawyer Alejandro Del Fuerte, as arrogant as he is young, takes on a case no one else will touch, that of a land grant dating from Spanish colonial times that has apparently been fraudulently awarded to none other than the local Catholic diocese.  Previous prosecutors ended up either dead or in the state mental hospital.  But with billions of dollars in oil and gas royalties at stake along with his reputation, Del Fuerte is convinced by Texas lieutenant governor, Rene Yarrington, to take it on.  What Del Fuerte doesn’t learn until too late is that it’s all a set-up to avenge an earlier wrong perpetrated by Alejandro against a member of Yarrington’s family.  In the meantime, the novel’s action takes him on a wild ride from the pinnacle of success to the depths of great personal loss.
Set in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, Cisneros’ legal thriller paints a vivid picture of border justice with a cast of characters ranging from the Pope to Mexican narcotraffickers.   A lawyer himself, the author has written a fast-paced, complex novel that does occasionally get bogged down in legalese. 

Recommended for public library fiction collections and those with a geographic interest

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