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Threatened By Narco Thugs

Ana Manwaring Author Interview

Nothing Comes After Z follows an investigator who rescues a trafficked girl only to realize that the cartel that paid for her wants her back at all costs. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I drove to Mexico in July of 1991 in my /v/w bus with my German Shepherd mix. At dusk on a lonely stretch of the PanAmerican Highway, I was threatened by narco thugs brandishing weapons (pointed at me) as the cabin of the bus filled with the odor of ripening marijuana. During my stay in Mexico, I read Desperados and learned about the cartels and their many activities.

JadeAnne Stone is a strong and intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

JadeAnne, a rescued orphan brought to the US during the Vietnam Babylift, was adopted into a white, upper-middle class family and raised in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco. She didn’t fit in to her society and needed to get away to look at her life. When she arrives in Mexico she’s pretty ignorant and has to toughen up fast. As she learns how things work in Mexico, she finds her true values and her place in the world.It isn’t unusual for adopted kids to feel out of step with their families and environments. I wanted to explore that.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

First, I was interested in the process of self-actualization—how people (outside of therapy) come to know themselves and change. Second, in my opinion, slavery of all kinds are the greatest and most insidious evil in our world. I wanted to develop a story that exposes this evil in a way that took trafficking out of news articles and commentary and put it into an emotional context, which might grab readers in the gut and make them think.

Will there be another book in the JadeAnne Stone Mexico Adventure series?

Absolutely yes. Book 4, Coyote, Pursuit and Terror Across the Border publishes on November 16th. This book completes the story of the trafficked teen, but doesn’t end the cartel threat to JadeAnne. That’s all I’m going to say!

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On the mend from a gunshot wound in Mexico City, investigator JadeAnne Stone needs to get Lily, the trafficked fifteen-year-old she rescued, back to her family in the U.S. But within hours of her release from the hospital she recognizes her nemesis Anibal Aguirre, trolling her neighborhood in a black SUV. Is he looking for her? He’s the one who sold her to the traffickers. Her U.S. operative father puts together a team for round-the-clock security, and Anibal is arrested during an attack on the house, but at the airport the U.S. Marshal transporting him is killed and he disappears. Who knew Anibal was being extradited at 12:30? And why does it appear the Aguirre clan is right in the middle of a deadly human trafficking network? JadeAnne realizes that between the cartel traffickers, the government officials in their pockets, and possibly the handsome doctor she danced with in the park, nowhere and no one is safe, not even her dog Pepper. Whichever cartel paid for JadeAnne and Lily wants them back, and time is running out.

Nothing Comes After Z

JadeAnne’s visit to Mexico was supposed to be a brief and snappy one; investigate the disappearance of her client’s wife, find her, and spend a month of summer in the city right after. But fate had different plans in store for her. Not only is her client’s wife dead, she’s now caught up in a tussle between the Mexican government and two notorious organized crime rings. Now her summer is taking a massive turn and in the weeks that follow, she’ll experience love, fear, discovery, hatred, anxiety and betrayal.

Nothing Comes After Z is a riveting crime thriller with a strong female protagonist that is fun to follow. JadeAnne is an investigator from California, and even though this is the third book in a series I feel that her personality is well established in this novel so that readers will still feel a connection to her. She was hired to uncover the case of a missing person in Mexico. On her mission, her path crossed with an organized gang and a trafficking ring. I appreciated the grounded nature of the crime and how it relates to some headlines we see in the news today. After being betrayed by her partner on the case, she will go through a torrent of events. Before she can safely leave Mexico and return to her life, she has to uncover some hard truths and catch the perpetrators. Author Ana Manwaring knows how to create a storyline that easily sets up the hard-hitting action.

The author gives readers a vivid explanations of all the action taking place in this book. Scenes were described so well that readers will not be lost when the fighting and action begins. While I appreciated the plethora of detail I sometimes felt that it slowed the book down in certain moments as I felt some scenes were overly detailed. But readers who enjoy a well constructed world that is fully realized will certainly appreciate the picturesque scenes that are created in this book.

Even though this is a thrilling action adventure novel readers can still feel every emotion JadeAnne goes through. Her pain, disgust, horror, anger, love, hopelessness as well as fear. I enjoyed how well the emotion is weaved into this action novel because it ensure we’re invested in the protagonist and we’re biting our nails when the action intensifies.

Nothing Comes After Z pits its compelling female protagonist against some seriously dangerous people in the midst of an exotic location where action seems to be around every corner. Suspense and crime fiction lovers will find this book a must read.

Pages: 358 | ASIN: B09L6R9WLS

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